PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into the Jaguar nickel sulphide project, in northern Brazil, has found that the project could produce some 275 600 t of nickel and would have an initial mine life of ten years.
ASX-listed Centaurus Minerals on Monday reported that the scoping study was based on a 2.7-million-tonne-a-year conventional nickel flotation circuit, and a base case price assumption of $7.50/lb.
The scoping study estimated that the project would require a capital investment of some $178-million, and would have life-of-mine C1 cash costs of some $2.41/lb.
Revenues for the project would reach some $2.42-billion, while average annual operating free cash flows were expected to reach some $109-million, while the post-tax net present value was estimated at $453-million and the internal rate of return at 54%.
Centaurus MD Darren Gordon told shareholders that the completion of the scoping study in just 18 months after acquiring the Jaguar project reflected the outstanding fundamentals and its ability to underpin the development of a new long-life, low-cost nickel sulphide operation.
“Our goal is to transform Centaurus into a new generation nickel sulphide mining company n Brazil, capable of delivering more than 20 000 t/y of class 1 nickel sulphides to global markets for many years to come. The scoping study clearly shows that Jaguar has all the attributes required to achieve this goal, and to do so in a sustainable and responsible manner that ensures we meet the highest possible environmental and social governance standards.”
Gordon noted that the development timeline for the Jaguar project would see production from the second half of 2024.
“Most major investment bank research suggests that the demand for class1 nickel at this time will be strongly outstripping supply, which should be favourable for nickel producers, particularly those like Centaurus that can sustainably produce nickel from sulphide sources at very low operating costs,” he added.
Centaurus was also confident that it could grow the resource base beyond the current levels, Gordon said.
“As we press ahead with the prefeasibility study, we are maintaining an aggressive approach to exploration, with four diamond drill rigs operating around the clock and a new reverse circulation rig to arrive on site in the coming weeks to grow our resource inventory and target new discoveries that could deliver a further significant uplift in the project’s already strong value proposition.”