PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Junior metals developer Platina Resources has reported a maiden ore reserve of 3.9-million tonnes at its Owendale scandium/cobalt project, in New South Wales.
Grading at 550 parts per million (ppm) scandium, 0.9% cobalt and 0.13% nickel, the project is estimated to host a reserve of 3 359 t of scandium, 3 510 t of cobalt and 5 157 t of nickel, making it the highest-grade scandium and cobalt development discovered.
“Releasing a maiden ore reserve is the final step in the Owendale prefeasibility study (PFS) and highlights an optimised approach to mining our world class resource,” said Platina MD Robert Mosig.
He pointed out that the maiden ore reserve further demonstrated the robustness of the project, with the first 35 years of the project expected to have a scandium content of over 600 ppm.
“Our focus now turns to finalising our marketing studies and evaluating the economics of a pilot plant to commence processing in 2018.”
Mosig noted that the company’s scandium strategy over the next six to 12 months was to secure offtake partners, which would help Platina become a global supplier of scandium oxide to the energy and transportation industries.
The Owendale PFS estimated that the project would require a capital investment of $94-million to deliver a 42 000 t/y scandium oxide operation.
At a scandium oxide price of $1 500/kg, Owendale will deliver $58-million a year in revenue. The pretax net present value is estimated at $180-million and the internal rate of return is 27%. The project has a three- to four-year payback period.