PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A bankable feasibility study (BFS) into the Minim Martap bauxite project, in Cameroon, has confirmed an initial 20-year mine life, with the project expected to produce 6.4-million tonnes of high-grade bauxite a year.
ASX-listed Canyon Resources on Tuesday told shareholders that the BFS was based on an updated proven ore reserve of 108.91-million tonnes, grading 51.1% total alumina and 2% total silica, as well as a total mineral resource estimate of over one-billion tonnes, at 45.3% total alumina and 2.7% total silica.
The BFS estimated that the project would require a capital investment of $253-million, and would have a C1 operating cost of $23.95/t of 51.1% alumina export product, making Minim Martap competitive in supplying some of the world’s highest-grade bauxite.
The study estimated that the project would have a pre-tax net present value of $452-million, an internal rate of return of 22%, and a payback period of just over four years.
“The BFS demonstrates that the Minim Martap bauxite project is a robust and profitable long-term mining project that will be exporting some of the world’s highest grade alumina combined with low silica for many years,” said Canyon CEO Jean-Sebastien Boutet.
“Despite the difficulties of Covid-19 and current global inflationary pressures, the Canyon team along with our project partners have produced a study that has reduced the project risk and will increase the confidence of potential strategic partners looking to invest in the Minim Martap bauxite project.
“Not only is this mine going to produce some of the highest-grade bauxite in the world for decades, but there is also potential to further increase the export tonnage from Minim Martap. The current mining plan mines only 10.6% of the total resource in the first 20 years and the total resource only represents 17 out of 62 bauxite plateaux on the total project area.
“To leverage this massive upside future potential of the project, we are already working closely with our logistics partners to fast-track and increase the capacity of the rail and port logistics for the project,” said Boutet.
Meanwhile, Canyon on Tuesday also announced that it will raise A$5-million through a well-supported placement to institutional and sophisticated investors, to advance the Minim Martap project.
The company would issue more than 111.11-million shares, at a price of 4.5c each. The shares will be issued alongside a free attaching option on a one-for-one basis, with an exercise price of 7c per option and a two-year expiry.
The shares will be issued in two tranches, with the first tranche consisting of more than 103.4-million shares, to be placed under Canyon’s existing placement capacity. The second tranche would be subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting scheduled for late July.
Funds from the placement will be used to advance work at Minim Martap.
“To complete the placement within the current climate surrounding investment markets demonstrates the interest in the Minim Martap project and support for Canyon’s goal to become the preferred partner to the international bauxite market,” said Boutet.
“The company also recognises the delay in the release of the BFS, but we believe that the extra time taken to review resulted in an outcome that all shareholders and future business partners will be excited by. The BFS confirms that the Minim Martap project has the quality and scale to meet long-term demand that will be required world-wide in coming years.
“We are seeing persistent supply shocks and other geopolitical events impacting bauxite supply and, therefore, the aluminium industry. This presents additional justifications for new bauxite projects such as Minim Martap.”