Metro Mining Limited announced that it has entered into binding terms with its barging and transhipping partner, Transhipment Services Australia (TSA), to add a floating crane barge to its fleet at the Bauxite Hills Mine. A significant risk facing the Bauxite Hills Mine is the current historically high ocean freight rates, particularly, for geared Ultramax vessels used for shipping Metro bauxite. The continuation of high ocean freight rates will, over time, adversely affect Metro's operating margins. Metro's expansion strategy is, and continues to be, to reduce unit delivered costs by having the ability to load larger Capesize vessels. Metro's Management Team recently became aware of the opportunity to acquire a floating crane
barge which will provide Metro with the capability to load Capesize vessels. Metro and TSA have moved swiftly to secure this opportunity. The floating crane barge, which has been newly built and commissioned, has a projected capacity of approximately 4.0 million WMT for the Bauxite Hills Mine operating season and conditions. The floating crane barge will be purchased by TSA and will be included in their marine fleet that services the Bauxite Hills Mine. Metro anticipates that the floating crane barge will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2021. TSA is in the process of completing regulatory, technical and commissioning aspects in preparation for mobilization to the Bauxite Hills Mine. Metro and TSA have entered into the appropriate amendments to the transhipment agreement. Metro's expansion strategy to move to an annual production of 6 million tonnes and have the capability to load Capesize vessels remains unchanged.