IFFCO inks pact with Legend International

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New Delhi, July 16 (UNI) In its quest to procure adequate quantity of Rock Phosphate for its complex fertiliser producing plants, Indian Farmers Fetiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) today finalised an agreement with Australia's Legend International Holdings (LIH).

A ''Principles of Off-Take Agreement'' for Rock Phosphate was signed with Legend at its corporate office in Melbourne today, between IFFCO Managing Director U S Awasthi and LIH Chairman, President and CEO Joseph Gutnick.

In April this year, IFFCO had initialed a Heads of Agreement for jointly working on Legend's phosphate deposits with an off-take of about three million tonnes of concentrated rock phosphate per annum.

Under this arrangement, the price of the rock will be based on market pricing related to significant volumes of international supply agreements to the Indian market. An alternate pricing mechanism, based on international phosphoric acid prices has also been incorporated.

Dr Awasthi has joined Legend's Board as a Director.

Talking to the media on this occasion, Dr Awasthi said considering its strong commitment to the farming community and its farmer-members, IFFCO continues to look for opportunities to enhance fertiliser availability and has inked the agreement with LIH with this objective.

He added, ''we are delighted to work with Mr Gutnick and Legend to establish a significant fertiliser and resource company in Australia.'' IFFCO will provide technical, logistic and financial support/facilitation to Legend in the development of its phosphate mining operations and shipment of its product to India.

IFFCO shall purchase 15 million shares in LIH and shall also receive options for another 30 million shares to be acquired, in a phased manner, which will be utilised to fund capital expenditure related to the project.

Speaking about the agreement, Mr Gutnick stated, ''it's a great honour and privilege for me to welcome Dr Awasthi to join the Board of LIH. I look forward to his direction and guidance in ensuring the success of the Phosphate project.'' ''I'm also very excited by the opportunity to work with IFFCO, which is world's largest fertiliser cooperative society, representing 50 million farmers and the largest fertiliser entity in the burgeoning Indian market. IFFCO's excellent performance track record and its market coverage provides Legend, a customer who has the capacity and financial strength to commit to large volumes of phosphates on an annual basis for the life of the project. It also enables Legend, the ability to further develop its interest in fertiliser products and a channel to distribute these products.'' IFFCO stated that supplies coming from Legend within next 2-3 years will be additional and not affect the present supply arrangements. The tie-up with Legend will ensure that IFFCO's Paradeep Unit operates at its full capacity and, if possible, even at higher capacity without facing any raw materials constraints.

UNI BBS SR KN1811

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