PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into the Mt Thirsty joint venture (JV) cobalt project, in Western Australia, has estimated that the project could produce up to 1 280 t/y of cobalt and up to 1 660 t/y of nickel over a mine life of 21 years.
ASX-listed Barra Resources and fellow-listed Conico on Thursday reported that the JV project would require a capital investment of A$212-million to develop a 1.5-million-tonne-a-year operation.
Up to 27 000 t of cobalt and 35 000 t of nickel could be produced during the life of the mine. Based on an average cobalt price of $72 200/t and a nickel price of $15 500/t the project is estimated to have a net present value of A$290-million and an internal rate of return of 21.5%.
Operating costs for the Mt Thirsty project have been estimated at A$43/t.
The JV partners told shareholders that the results of the scoping study had confirmed that the Mt Thirsty cobalt project had the potential to become a low capital and operating cost producer in a first-world jurisdiction.
There is also potential to extend the mine life of the project through the inclusion of additional tonnage from other prospects in the region.
On the back of the positive scoping study, the JV partners will examine several alternatives to advance the Mt Thirsty cobalt project, including hunting for an additional JV partner to fund further studies and project development, offtake or funding agreements with end-users, and identifying alternative sources of finance.