TIM Carstens, MD of Base Resources, will be hoping the December purchase of Toliara Sands, a mineral sands project in Madagascar, will transform the risk profile that comes with single-asset mining companies. Currently, Base Resources operates out of the $300m Kwale Mineral Sands Operations in Kenya, and although a Phase 2 expansion will extend the 450,000 tonnes/year operation until 2022, it was nonetheless in need of asset diversification. Toliara, once explored by Kumba Resources, will cost Base Resources $77m to buy from World Titane Holdings – funded through an all-scrip deal. First production from Toliara is expected in mid-2021 with an investment decision pencilled in for 2019. Carstens will be hoping he’s called the mineral sands market correctly. The force appears to be with them: helped by record production from Kwale, Base Resources performed a A$42m turnaround in posting a full-year net profit of A$21m. By the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, debt had been heavily cut to A$86m suggesting cash continues to roll in. Meanwhile, the company is hoping to begin exploration work on nearby Tanzanian tenements. There’s a worrying wait for VAT refunds from the Kenyan government, while the political backdrop of the East African country is tense. In August, the Supreme Court ruled Uhuru Kenyatta’s general election victory null and void. He won the re-run but partly because the opposition boycotted it.
LIFE OF TIM
A chartered accountant by trade, Carstens has been the MD of Base Resources since its formation in 2008. Previously, he circulated through a number of executive positions at Australian and offshore junior and mid-cap mining companies such as Perilya, North Ltd and Robe River Iron. He is, you should know, rated the 49th best remunerated Western Australian with an all-in package of A$1.23m. Carstens is the chairman of the Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group.
- Web Address: www.baseresources.com.au