Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent ("LOI") with TAM Ceramics Group of NY, LLC ("TAM"), a leading U.S.-based marketer and manufacturer of zirconia chemical products.
The LOI specifies that TAM will agree to purchase from Quest up to 24,000 tonnes of zirconia annually which Quest expects to mine from its Strange Lake deposit, and that Quest will deal exclusively with TAM for the sale of this quantity of product. This constitutes 100% of Quest's anticipated annual zirconia production from Strange Lake.
The LOI also provides that TAM will coordinate with Quest to develop markets for zirconia.
The purchase and sale of zirconia contemplated by the LOI is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement between Quest and TAM which will include, among other things, the price of all zirconia to be sold and other material terms and conditions of the transaction. Quest and TAM have agreed to negotiate the definitive agreement in good faith, with a view to executing it as soon as possible, but in any event no later than December 31, 2014. The LOI provides that the definitive agreement will have an initial term of five years, with five possible renewal terms of five years each, for a total potential contract term of 30 years, covering the anticipated minimum 30-year production life for the Strange Lake deposit.
"The signing of our first off-take LOI, in this case for all of our byproduct zirconia, is a major milestone in the development of the Strange Lake deposit," said Peter Cashin, Quest's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that Strange Lake is a world-class asset that has the potential to produce a substantial quantity of strategic materials that will be attractive to customers around the globe. The LOI is the result of our continuing marketing efforts to engage customers with whom we intend to develop lasting business relationships. We view TAM's involvement with our Strange Lake project as a significant vote of confidence in the considerable progress we have made in precipitating chemical-grade zirconia product at our pilot plant. The LOI will allow us to develop a partnership with a company that has many years of zirconium marketing and manufacturing experience."
"TAM is excited about the opportunity to partner with Quest to commercialize significant quantities of zirconium-based materials, such as zirconium chemical products and high-purity zirconia, into the global market," said George Bilkey, TAM's President. "These zirconium-based derived materials are an excellent complement to TAM's 80-year global zircon and zirconia business. We very much look forward to working with the Quest team."