MRG Metals has signed a binding joint venture (JV) agreement with Sinowin Lithium and Sinowin Lithium Cobalt (SLC) to develop its Corridor Sands projects in Mozambique.

This partnership aims to advance the Corridor Central and Corridor South projects, along with other heavy mineral sands ventures in the region.

Under the JV agreement, MRG will be free carried for all capital and operating expenditures until the production of concentrate reaches 440,000 tonnes (t) per year.

Initially, MRG will retain a 30% stake in the JV company during the start-up phase, with production at 110,000t of annual concentrate. As production scales up to 440,000t per year, MRG’s equity will reduce to 20%.

To support operations of the JV, SLC will make an initial payment of $80,000 (580,104 yuan) over two months. These funds will be used to obtain mining licences and develop the project.

Following the JV company’s establishment, SLC will invest $3m, followed by another $3m once the initial amount is used.

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This funding is intended to advance mine approvals, design and economic analysis in the construction phase.

Due to be based in Hong Kong, the JV company will be formalised in the coming weeks.

The formalisation of this JV follows a non-binding memorandum of understanding signed in March 2024.

An offtake agreement has also been signed between the parties whereby SLC is designated as the offtaker for all HMS products from the initial Corridor Sands project.

MRG chairman Andrew Van Der Zwan said: “SLC brings significant mining experience and capital capacity following its successful investment in the Moblan Lithium Mine and has been pursuing new development opportunities with even larger scope and upside to replicate this success.

“The journey for MRG has been a long one, but we have remained focused on advancing the Corridor Sands Project, which offers multi-decade resource capacity and an exceptional infrastructure base, including access to water, electricity, manpower and, importantly, proximity to port, which we recently updated the market about.”