A brand new, UK-built, ultra-fine milling technology launched in Gateshead on October 21 was financed with a sukuk financial instrument – a type of Islamic bond – which is the first of its kind in the UK.
North east company International Innovative Technologies (IIT) says it is the first in the UK to use the facility which is similar to a convertible bond and respects Islamic Sharia law and its investment principles, which prohibits the charging or paying of interest.
The four year, $10m musharaka sukuk – small by international capital markets standards – was placed privately with Millennium Private Equity and regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority. According to IIT chairman Tom Wilkinson, the agreement is based on certain performance milestones which when reached will see Millennium receive agreed equity interest. Wilkinson is confident that there is potential for other UK companies to access Islamic finance, including sukuks, as an alternative source of funding.
As for the milling, the new, technically advanced, patented powder process combines low energy consumption and a compact size with a centrifugal grinding mechanism for excellent efficiency. The m-series mills can grind soft, medium and hard particles (1 to 9.5 on the Mohs scale) to 90% passing 45 microns and below with energy consumption between 5kWh/t up to 10kWh/t; considerably less than tradition milling equipment.
Aside from use in traditional markets, the m-series is versatile enough to be used for new green markets such as the recycling of glass reinforced plastic, glass and limestone.