PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into the Prieska zinc/copper project, in South Africa, has estimated that the project could produce between 70 000 t/y and 80 000 t/y of zinc and some 22 000 t/y of copper.
ASX-listed Orion Mining told shareholders that the 2.4-million tonne a year Phase 1 project was expected to require a capital investment of some A$300-million to A$330-million at peak, delivering a pre-tax net present value of between A$400-million and A$440-million, and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 38%.
The project is estimated to have an initial mine life of ten years, based on the mineral resource estimate of 28.7-million tonnes, at 3.77% zinc and 1.16% copper.
“We are very pleased to have completed our resource upgrade that has confirmed what an exceptional deposit we have at Prieska,’ said Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart.
“With nearly two-thirds of the resource now in the indicated category, we can present the case for the first ten years of a very attractive mining operation.”
Smart said that the scoping study identified important opportunities for further financial upside, both from extending the life of mine, and from optimising the grade of extraction following further drilling to be conducted.
The Phase 1 study examined only extracting some 75% of the total mineral resource.
A bankable feasibility study for the Prieska project is now under way, and will be completed in the second quarter of 2019.