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Ticor Agreement Changed and Renewed - TEXT

  1. 410 Posts.
    AUSTPAC RESOURCES NL 2002-09-19 ASX-SIGNAL-G

    HOMEX - Melbourne

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austpac Resources NL and Ticor Limited have signed a non-exclusive
    Technology Licence and Permitted Project Exploitation Agreement to
    replace the July 2000 agreement for the exclusive worldwide use of
    the ERMS/EARS synthetic rutile process (the ERMS SR Process).

    Austpac is now free to use its technology with other parties and so
    has initiated discussions with a view to developing an ERMS SR plant
    with an annual capacity of around 30,000 tpa. A plant of this size
    will establish the market for high grade synthetic rutile, and
    demonstrate the technology at a commercial scale, thereby
    underpinning the financing of a large scale project of at least
    100,000 tpa capacity.

    The new technology licence with Ticor covers "permitted projects",
    which are defined as new projects that may be initiated in the future
    by Ticor. In return for the licence to use the technology, Ticor will
    fund all project expenditure until the completion of a bankable
    feasibility study on each permitted project. At the time that Ticor
    commits to development of a permitted project, Austpac will be
    offered a 10% carried interest and the option to contribute to a
    further 20% interest in Ticor's share of the project. This will give
    the Company the opportunity to participate in any of Ticor's future
    synthetic rutile projects that use the ERMS SR process.

    A second agreement has also been signed with Ticor to cover the
    ongoing Austpac-Ticor relationship in the AusRutile Project in
    Orissa, India. The AusRutile Project is being progressed through a
    joint venture between Austpac, Ticor and the Indian Government's
    mineral sands arm, Indian Rare Earths Limited (IRE).

    Over the past two years the Austpac-Ticor Joint Venture has spent
    more than $2.5 million on pilot plant test programs, engineering
    feasibility and assessment work on the AusRutile Project. Under the
    new agreement Austpac will not be liable to repay Ticor for past
    expenditure on the AusRutile Project, and Ticor will fund all ongoing
    expenditure. In the event that a decision is made to proceed with
    project construction, Austpac will retain a 7.4% carried interest and
    have the option to contribute to an additional 14.8% interest in the
    AusRutile Project.

    Austpac looks forward to continued involvement in the AusRutile
    Project with Ticor and IRE. A new agreement between the parties is
    proposed to cover a feasibility study and possible development of a
    100,000 tpa synthetic rutile plant at Chatrapur.

    For further information please contact:

    M J Turbott
    MANAGING DIRECTOR
    Austpac Resources NL

    Tel: (61-2) 9221-3211
 
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