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Mining & Energy

Chilean titanium explorer seeks strategic partners in China


Cerro Blanco, or White Mountain, stands behind Chile's House of the Moon

Cerro Blanco, or White Mountain, stands behind Chile’s House of the Moon

A fairly new entrant in the titanium space in Chile is looking to expand its business through joint-ventures with companies in Asia.

The company, White Mountain Titanium Corporation (OTCQB:WMTM), has announced in a recent statement that it is currently scouting for investors in the Asian region, specifically in China, where demand for titanium dioxide is forecast to grow at a pace of seven percent by 2024.

The company revealed that its Cerro Blanco project in the Atacama region of Chile has “grown significantly, both in size and in the opportunities it affords” and that it recognises the need for a partner to help push its project forward.

Michael Kurtanjek, White Mountain president and chief operating officer, noted in the statement: “The outlook for our Cerro Blanco Project remains positive. It is certainly true that equity markets remain challenging for small companies; however, the longer-term outlook for high grade rutile remains positive and we intend to move to final feasibility just as quickly as funds will allow.”

“Cerro Blanco needs to be ready when equity markets turn and the titanium feedstock prices start to climb again. Everyone at White Mountain remains singularly focused and committed to advancing the Cerro Blanco Project and realizing on its potential,” he said.

Kin Wong, chairman and chief executive officer, added: “We are grateful that during the on-going severe industry downturn our investors have remained patient and supportive, which has made it possible for us to steadily progress the project towards our goal while many junior mine developments have been suspended.”

The global pigment industry had to destock last year due to an influx of cheaper supply from Asian pigment producers. The phenomenon is seen to ease this year according to analysts.

The Chinese titanium market is still marked by volatility, based on recent highlights from the Shanghai TZMI Congress in November of last year.

A number of companies are cutting down on costs and are closing shop, although some are in talks with bigger players for expansions.

The Chinese government’s is also putting an emphasis on utilising eco-friendly titanium products, which industry insiders believe will help bring back favourable prices to the sector.

A recent study by Research and Markets revealed that a steady increase in industrial output in China will drive growth and investments in the sector “for over two decades.”

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About Sandy Miguel-Descalso

Financial writer and editor based in the Philippines with a thirst for travel and photography.

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