The global shortfall in tin | InterPrac

The global shortfall in tin

The global shortfall in tin


Elementos Limited (ASX:ELT) Managing Director Joe David provides an update on the company's tin projects in Tasmania and Spain.

Paul Sanger: Hello. I'm Paul Sanger for the Finance News Network, and I'm at the IMARC conference here in Sydney, talking with Elementos (ASX:ELT) CEO Joe David. Joe, great to catch up with you again.

Joe David: Yeah, good to see you, Paul. Thank you.

Paul Sanger: Now, Joe, I always start with this question when we speak. I always say, "Why tin?" The news has been full of all the EV metals, such as lithium, graphite, nickel, but we both know tin is a special place to play in this space. Tell us why.

Joe David: You're right. Tin flies under the radar and I think it's for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there's not many listed tin companies, right? There's only two listed producers, one in Canada, one in Australia, and there's a couple of us developers out there. But, really, it is a commodity that's been run by vertically integrated state-owned companies, and basically the world's running out of tin. So, there's huge deficits forecast. There's been an under-investment in the industry for 20-30 years, and certainly there's a place for a lot of developers like ourself to come in and fill that gap. We've got two tin projects. We're very excited to deliver them both in the back half of this decade and certainly play a significant role in filling that deficit.

Paul Sanger: So, Joe, let's just talk about the project, and you targeted for production some time in 2025. Is that still on target?

Joe David: Yeah, towards the end of 2025, but more likely probably towards the end of 2026 now. Yeah, coming online, post-commissioning, full production into 2026.

Paul Sanger: Fantastic. And how is the ramp-up looking?

Joe David: Yeah, so right now we're doing a DFS. Our DFS is about 90 per cent completed. We're making a few adjustments to a couple of the footprints of our waste dumps there to support our interaction with the government and the environmental authorities. So, very soon we'll be closing it out and hopefully have the DFS out by Q1 next year and then approvals at the back end of next year.

Paul Sanger: And that'd be significant for the project, getting the DFS out there, then the reels really starting getting in motion, funding, and really taking the project forward.

Joe David: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So, the back half of last year's hopefully closing out the approvals, getting into FID, getting our financiers lined up, offtakers and all the other key aspects. So, we're obviously in conversation with all those key parties already, but in the back half of next year, we'll really be ramping that up.

Paul Sanger: So, you stole my next question. So offtakers already having conversations, checking you out, and lining you up for future tin production?

Joe David: Yeah, absolutely. So, the tin industry is pretty much focused on the Asian smelters. So, we're obviously talking to all the major Asian smelters and all the traders that will move our product from Spain out that way. We are also looking at some strategic projects and potentially smelting within continental Europe. There's some real strategic benefits to us there, both from cost basis and it ticks a lot of the boxes for European, the EU's critical raw mineral supply. So, we're certainly looking at some of those options, but of course we're talking to everyone, and we'll make the right economic decision for our shareholders.

Paul Sanger: Now, look, you obviously have assets in Spain, and for the Australian investors, when it comes to permitting and government relations and what have you, how is that in Spain compared to Australia?

Joe David: Yeah, so the difference in Spain is the Spanish regions are autonomous, so all our approvals are in the Andalusian region. And, yeah, no national-level approvals. So, that's a real difference to Australian projects. So, some ASX investors made have had experience with other ASX companies in other parts of Spain. There's been very few ASX-listed companies within Spain.

Obviously Sandfire (ASX:SFR) recently bought into the Matsa project last year within Andalucía. We think that's a big shot in the arm to show that a big Australian copper miner supports the mining industry in Andalucía. Hey, Spain's got a reputation historically. It swung quite anti-development, and mining was a hard thing to do. But in Andalucía right now they've got a very pro-industry, pro-mining government, and we're certainly seeing that support fly through. We are named as a state-significant project. We are in the Project Accelerator group in Andalucía. Only seven mining projects are a part of that, and our Oropesa project is named there, so we've got the political support and the support all the way through the government there.

Paul Sanger: And, look, we're also at the IMARC conference, as you can probably hear from the background noise. Plenty going on here. How has it been the last couple of days? I saw plenty of people at the booth when we turned up. How's it been?

Joe David: Yeah, no, it's been fantastic. So, between visitors of the booth, the speaking opportunities, and also the private meetings that they facilitate at Mines and Money here and the IMARC, it's fantastic. We'll be in London later this year for the Mines and Money in London as well with promoting our Spanish project there. So the organisation's fantastic, and we're a big supporter of what they're doing.

Paul Sanger: Joe David, thanks for your time.

Joe David: Thank you, Paul.

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