In its most recent corporate update, Tasman Metals (TSXV:TSM) announced plans to withdraw from its portfolio of Finnish chromite projects in a bid to reduce costs.
As quoted in the press release:
In light of the decision to reduce costs during challenging times, Tasman’s Board has chosen to withdraw from the Finnish portfolio of chromite projects due to the relatively high permit holding costs in Finland.
The company also stated that it remains optimistic regarding rare earth prices in 2016:
The Tasman Board remains optimistic for improved market conditions for REEs in 2016. Metal prices have stabilized, and the only significant western REE producer, Australia’s Lynas Corp, is now cash flow positive. In China, the industry continues to be aggregated which over time may allow for tighter control over illegal Chinese mining and support higher REE prices.
Tasman is acting to increase the opportunities for revenue from our flagship Norra Karr heavy REE project in Sweden, in addition to those outlined in the 2015 Pre Feasibility Study (the “2015 PFS“). As previously reported, Norra Karr presents a unique opportunity not only for REEs but also for the supply of the industrial minerals nepheline and feldspar, which together comprise some 65% of the rock. Nepheline and feldspar have large European markets in ceramics, glass, plastics, cement, building material and metallurgical industries. Nepheline and feldspar are for example widely consumed in the manufacture of bathroom ceramics, roof and floor tiles, crockery, building fillers, paints, cement and even cosmetics. Tasman’s test work on the nepheline/feldspar by-product from Norra Karr has shown it to be low in iron, and with key characteristics similar to material being used industrially across Europe today.
During 2016, Tasman’s focus shall remain on the Norra Karr project, seeking to further optimize the current processing flowsheet for REEs, and develop markets for the industrial minerals. The Company starts the year with a sufficient cash balance, as it moved quickly to reduce overheads on the conclusion of the 2015 PFS. With the ongoing support of the European Commission funded EURARE project, the Tasman Board is confident significant progress can be achieved during 2016.
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