Black Iron Inc. (TSX:BKI,OTC:BKIRF,FWB:BIN) is developing an iron ore mine in Ukraine ranked by market intelligence group CRU as having the lowest projected operating costs and second-lowest capital intensity of all iron ore pellet feed development projects in their database. The company has access to a highly-skilled labor force and excellent infrastructure which could help reduce the overall capital costs of the project. Black Iron has signed a memorandum of understanding with Glencore (LSE:GLEN) to engage in formal negotiations to finance the construction of the Shymanivske iron ore project in exchange for potentially securing the offtake of up to four million tonnes.
Black Iron’s 100 percent owned Shymanivske iron ore project is located in Kryviy Rih, Ukraine, 330 kilometers southeast of Kiev and 450 kilometers west from the conflict in the Donbass. Black Iron is confident that the conflict won’t pose a threat to the project as the front line has not moved in over five years and there are no benefits for Russia to push deeper into the country since it has secured the naval base on the island of Crimea. Ukraine is the seventh-largest producer of iron ore globally and is strategically located between markets of Europe, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
Black Iron’s Company Highlights
- Ukraine has demonstrated its desire to move closer to European integration and is combating corruption within the country.
- The World Bank ranks Ukraine 64 out of 190 countries in its 2020 “Ease of Doing Business Index”, which is an improvement over its 156-place ranking 10 years ago.
- The country is a mining-friendly jurisdiction with strong local and national support.
- In 2014, Black Iron brought the project to the brink of starting construction having secured US$511 million from the world’s ninth-largest iron ore mining company, Metinvest. Metinvest divested their ownership back to Black Iron in 2016 when they fell under temporary financial distress.
- Black Iron’s Shymanivske iron ore project is located close to steel mills located in Europe, Turkey, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
- The project is also located in an established mining region surrounded by seven operating iron ore mines owned by ArcelorMittal, Metinvest and Evraz.