Minemakers will use the funds from the sale of its interest in the Namibian phosphate project to pursue a stake in a new phosphate project in another developing African country, Togo.
Minemakers said today it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Balamara Resources to work on a tender for the grant of a concession over major phosphate deposits in the West African country.
Under the terms of the deal, Minemakers will have first right to enter a joint venture with Balamara should it be awarded the concession.
"In view of its lengthier experience in the development of feasibility studies on major phosphate deposits, Minemakers has been assisting Balamara in the formulation of its final tender document and, particularly, in the area of downstream processing to fertilisers," the company said in a statement.
The award of the concession is expected by the end of March.
Minemakers managing director Cliff Lawrenson said the company was interested in acquiring a value accretive second phosphate project to provide geographic diversity and to help mitigate the risk of being a one project company, following the sale of its interest in the Sandpiper project in Namibia.
"Wonarah is and will remain our priority but we see it as our ongoing obligation to shareholders to remain vigilant to emerging value enhancing opportunities should they present," he said.
"The Togolese project appears to be an excellent candidate for the company's involvement and it is one of several opportunities currently being evaluated."
Balamara has also enlisted Indian fertiliser and petrochemical company Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation as a potential downstream partner for production of acid and fertiliser products.
Balamara's managing director Mike Ralston said both Minemakers and Deepak brought significant value to the bidding consortium, with complementary areas of expertise and development capability.
"The Togo project is a world-scale deposit with over 2 billion tonnes of phosphate ore which has been extensively drilled and analysed," he said.Minemaker shares were off half a cent to 16 cents at 9.40am while Balamara shares were up 1.8 cents, or 20.69 per cent, to 10.5 cents.