PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Higher zircon prices have enhanced the economics of the proposed Boonanarring and Altas mineral sands deposits, in Western Australia, owner Image Resources said on Thursday.
The company reported that the higher mineral resources prices had pushed up the project’s pre-tax net present value from the A$197-million estimated in November last year, to A$235-million.
The pre-tax internal rate of return also increased from 104% to 125%, while the pay-back period declined from 16 months to 13 months.
ASX-listed Image noted that the capital cost estimate of A$52-million to develop the project had remained unchanged. Binding offtake agreements for the full production from the project, as well as the potential to extend the Boonanarring mine life, also remained in place.
The Boonanarring deposit is expected to deliver 1.1-million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate and the Atlas deposit an additional 711 000 t. The Boonanarring deposit is estimated to have an initial mine life of five years, after which mining would move to the Atlas deposit, which would add a further three years to the overall mine life.
The project is fully funded, and construction started in March this year. The project is slated for commissioning and first production in the fourth quarter of this year.