FOLLOWING in the footsteps of his evergreen and enterprising father Loucas, Phoevos has been instrumental in the creation of Tharisa – a dividend-paying chrome and platinum group metals (PGM) mining company. After a low-key start, the company has become a solid citizen, particularly in chrome. Its main asset consists of an open-cast mine and process capacity able to turn out speciality chrome grades that fetch handsome premia. With this as foundation, Tharisa has given itself two years to lift annual chrome concentrate output to two million tonnes (Mt) from 1.4Mt, and take the current 150,000 oz of PGM output to 200,000 oz. The purchase of a contractor’s mining fleet and staff means Tharisa is also self-sufficient. It’s a model that worked well for Aquarius Platinum which, in its time, was able to impose a tighter rein on costs and improve mining qualities. As a further step to securing its independence, Tharisa is trialling a small smelter to produce a PGM matte as a precursor to building a 5MW furnace that can handle all its PGM production. This would dovetail nicely with the end of a PGM concentrate supply agreement with Impala Platinum. Pouroulis and his team are also hunting for minerals outside PGMs and chrome. For a return on investment, this is the best the Pouroulis franchise has produced of late.
LIFE OF PHOEVOS
Pouroulis has a BSc and Business Administration from Boston University in the US. He started in the mining industry in 2003, working as the commercial director at Chromex Mining and was a founder of Keaton Energy. He is on the Council of the International Chrome Development Association.
- Web Address: www.tharisa.com