International diversified resource company, Astra Resources PLC (FWB Code: 9AR), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (NASDAQ:MOU) with China Railway (Beijing) Vehicles Equipment Co. Ltd (CRVE) relating directly to the commencement of production across Astra's vast resource suite.
The agreement reflects Astra's desire to enter into a long term and synergetic relationship with a major Chinese State Owned Agency (NYSE:SOA) such as CRVE and create a strong footprint in the epicentre of the Asian growth corridor.
The MOU also reflects CRVE's desire to build a long-lasting relationship with a global resource and technology company, such as Astra and support the immediate and future infrastructure (mining equipment) and finance solution requirements of Astra and to begin full scale production for Astra's Company owned mines.
Further, CRVE will purchase specific resources, including thermal coal and iron ore, from Astra for its significant rail production and infrastructure projects in addition to its massive power generation requirements and close association with China Power.
Astra CEO Dr Jaydeep Biswas says this is a significant step forward for the company in the wake of its recent announcement regarding the geological investigation and feasibility study into its Nigerian thermal coal sites and deposits and the recent favourable report from the Cagayan River Construction & Development Corporation (CRCDC) on its Philippine iron sands project.
"Entering into both formal discussions and contracts with major resource players and buyers, such as CRVE, not only secures long term revenue streams, but also opens the door for further discussions and agreements with regards to our project financing needs and production of Astra's other major resource assets of iron ore and thermal coal and the imminent commercialisation of the clean coal conversion technology," Dr Biswas says.
"China represents the biggest resource buying market in the world and Astra are now well positioned to take full advantage of this by entering into this MOU with one of the largest State Owned Agencies (SOA) in China that has a huge appetite for thermal coal and iron ore supply and connection to many of China's SOA's."
The ground breaking MOU was facilitated by Senior China Advisor, Stephane Muller-Margot who says China's thermal coal and iron ore needs are immense and during this stage of massive development and urbanisation it is vital that we identify and partner with major resource companies like Astra to ensure a consistent, and secure, supply chain.
"This is the first step in developing a significant relationship with Astra following the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) in January 2012 and to provide all of the necessary project infrastructure and financial support for the various assets that CRVE wishes to lock up for future sales offtake agreements," Mr Muller-Margot says.
Astra is also in meaningful discussions and negotiations for an extension to this MOU with other Chinese SOA's to utilise Astra's Clean Coal Conversion Technology, Gold assets throughout Asia, Agricultural Resources and the production of the company's ground breaking T-Steel steel technology.
Astra Resources' global portfolio includes gold interests in Southeast Asia, coal mine in Africa, iron ore in India, Norway and the Philippines, carbon efficient and commodity businesses, the production of the high-strength T-Steel technology in Hungary, clean coal technology and the provision of mining services housing in Rockhampton, Queensland and a large Agricultural focus on creating Australia as the food bowl for the Asian Region through Astra Agricultural Resources.
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