Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Adelaide, Australia – 9 August 2011: Astra Mining, an Australian diversified mining company through its subsidiary Astra Innovations Pty Ltd, has signed a deed of assignment with Sino Bay (BVI) Ltd to acquire all of its right, title and interest in Green Gum Technologies, a Hungarian renewable energy technology company operating in the area of waste recycling of rubber into high value products.

The deed of assignment is in the process of settlement and will result in Astra Innovations Pty Ltd holding 76 percent of the issued share capital of Green Gum Technologies.

Green Gum Technologies is the owner of the intellectual property for the innovative technology relating to the production of rubber granules for a range of commercial and industrial applications.

Green Gum owns a factory in Eastern Hungary, approximately 150Km from Budapest and 130Km from Vienna, which is intended to be production in October this year.

The patented process is able to produce fine rubber granules of 200 and 300 microns and superfine granules of 180 microns to 150 microns with a small carbon footprint.

Astra Mining CEO Dr Jaydeep Biswas says one of the main advantages of the technology is the process uses substantially less energy for the production of fine granules than the traditional methods that utilise nitrogen freezing or high-pressure water.

“Other competitive processes to this technology already in use have high energy requirements and are unable to produce such high quality granules with such a low carbon footprint,” Dr Biswas says.

“The granule products are used in a range of industrial base materials and may be a substitute in the rubber industry, as a filler in the paint industry, and for the substitution of plasticisers in the plastic industry.”

The sale price of the granules in these premium industries is expected to exceed 600 Euros per ton, and for certain applications such as rubber manufacturing in excess of 1,500 Euros per ton with net margins as high as 50 percent of the sale price.

The plant will be able to produce over 15,000 tons per year, once the machinery installation is complete. The interest shown in the product suggests that 25,000 tons per year will be required in 2012 and possibly up to 30,000 tons soon after.

Astra’s managing Director, Silvana De Cianni, says apart from the green credentials of the product, it can also help in the reduction of the use of petroleum in rubber manufacturing.

“Most synthetic rubber is created from two materials, styrene and butadiene, which are both currently derived from petroleum,” Ms De Cianni says.

“High quality rubber granules can decrease the requirement for the petroleum based materials in the manufacture of synthetic rubber.

“They are also very useful in the plastics manufacturing processes as only high quality granules which are extremely fine and have special bonding properties can be used.

“The recycling of rubber is currently limited by the quality of the input and the Green Gum process makes it possible to greatly increase the use of all types of scrapped rubber.”

Astra has identified the road base market in Europe as another immediate market for the product.

The sale price for this application directly relates to the bitumen market, which at the moment is approximately 500 Euros (AUD$660) per ton with the initial sale price of the rubber granules to be around 360 Euros (AUD$480) per ton.

Road building companies in Sweden and Austria have already expressed interest in using large amounts of the Green Gum product, while a German company that manufactures automotive cabin components is also considering the technology.

The need for rubber granules in road building and road maintenance alone is expected to be in excess of 35,000 tons per year over the next five years with considerable use of the product throughout Europe.

Astra is planning to increase the production capacity of the plant by 33 percent in the near future to meet this demand.

Astra Mining’s global portfolio includes gold and tin interests in Southeast Asia and southern India, coal mines in Australia and Africa, iron ore in India and Africa, and the production of the high-strength T-Steel technology in Hungary.

Astra has also confirmed its plans to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before the 31st of August or soon thereafter.

For more information visit www.astramining.com or email investor-relations@wedgewoodcommunications.com

Contact Profile

Astra Mining

Bruce Nelson
P: 0402 823 343
M: +61 (0) 402 823 343
W: www.astramining.com/


Astra Mining, Green Gum Technologies, renewable energy, rubber granules



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