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BUILDING & ENGINEERING, MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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ISR Capital inks deal to develop rare earth oxide project in Africa

The 238-km2 concession area in northwestern Madagascar was acquired through a 60% stake in Tantalum Holding Mauritius.

Management consulting firm ISR Capital has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shenzhen-listed China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. (NFC), to develop a project in Africa, a filing with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) revealed.

The development comes after ISR noted that it was at risk of being placed under the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading (SGX-ST) watchlist after recording pre-tax losses for three consecutive financial years and a six-month average daily market cap of $11m as at 20 June.

Also read: ISR Capital at risk of being placed under SGX-ST watchlist

The group had legally completed the acquisition of the Rare Earth Project – the 238-km2 concession area in northwestern Madagascar, Africa that hosted rare earth oxides – in January 2019 through a 60% stake in Tantalum Holding Mauritius (THM), which in turn owns 100% of Tantalum Rare Earth Malagasy S.A.R.L.U. (TREM).

Rare earth elements are a group of 17 chemical elements used in some of the world’s fastest growing industries, including renewable energy, electric vehicles, telecommunications and defence. China is said to be the world’s largest exporter, raising overseas shipments by 4% YoY to more than 53,000 tonnes in 2018.

According to Chen Tong, executive chairman of ISR, the MOU sets out the framework for the parties to discuss in detail the matters including, but not limited to, the purchase by NFC of up to 3,000 metric tonnes of the Rare Earth Project’s output within the first three years of successful commissioning of the production facilities to be built for the project, as well as the provision of engineering procurement and construction services by NFC, and future investment by NFC into the Rare Earth Project.

The MOU will expire two years from the commencement unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

Meanwhile, ISR will be holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) immediately after its annual general meeting (AGM) on 28 June to seek shareholders’ approval on the proposed ratification of the waiver of a condition precedent related to the acquisition of 60% of THM, and the proposed change of the Company’s name to Reenova Investment Holding to “better reflect the group’s profile and broader scope of business activities following completion of the acquisition of THM.” 

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