A definitive feasibility study is now underway to improve the accuracy of the project estimates
Base Resources Ltd () said the results of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) of the Bumamani deposit support extending the life of its Kwale mineral sands mine in Kenya through mid-2024.
The PFS concluded that it is economically feasible to mine smaller, higher-grade subassemblies of the Bumamani deposit and the Kwale North Dune deposit (referred to as P199) concurrently with the Kwale South Dune deposit, which would extend Kwale’s 7.5-month mine life through July 2024, the AIM-listed company said.
The extension gives Base Resources time to develop further opportunities in Kenya, while maintaining operational continuity.
The company said a definitive feasibility study is currently underway to improve the accuracy of the project’s estimates.
The Bumamani PFS was undertaken after an earlier pre-feasibility study on mining much larger subsets of the North Dune and Bumamani deposits concluded that it was not viable due to the low grade. combined with heavy minerals, high initial investment costs, high sludge content and associated tailings disposal. costs.
The mineral resources of North Dune are estimated at 194 million tonnes (Mt) at an average heavy mineral (HM) content of 1.5% for 2.9 Mt of HM contained, and the mineral resources of Bumamani are estimated at 5 , 9 Mt at an average HM content of 1.9% for 0.115 Mt of HM contained.
The subsets of these mineral resource estimates taken into account for the Bumamani PFS totaled 11.4 Mt of material at an average HM grade of 2.3% for 0.26 Mt of ML content. The 11.4 Mt of material is expected to produce 34,000 tonnes of rutile, 113,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 13,000 tonnes of zircon.
The capital cost is estimated at US $ 13.6 million for the acquisition of land and the additional mining services and infrastructure that will be required, the company said.
Mining operations would use existing hydraulic mining units moved from the South Dune and the mined material would be processed by Kwale Operations’ existing concentrator and mineral separation plants.
To maximize exploitation rates and better manage tailings, it is envisaged that the Bumamani deposit and the P199 section will be mined at the same time as the South Dune deposit, starting in early 2023, with all deposits then being depleted at the same time. time in July 2024, Base Says the resource.
Operating costs per tonne mined are consistent with Kwale’s current performance, but operating costs per tonne produced will be higher due to the drop in heavy mineral content resulting in lower production, the company explained. company.
Subject to the above assumptions, the Bumamani PFS forecast net after-tax cash flow totaling US $ 16.5 million.
The company said its wholly-owned Kenyan subsidiary, Base Titanium Ltd, had received an environmental impact assessment license from the National Environmental Management Authority to expand mining activity in the Bumamani and P199 deposits once it obtained mining tenure over these areas.