PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into the Flemington scandium-cobalt project, in New South Wales, estimates the project could deliver an after-tax cash flow of A$677-million over the first 18 years of operation.
The operation is expected to produce 50 t scandium oxide from a 100 000 t/y plant, with the mine to produce at rates of between 90 000 t/y and 100 000 t/y run-of-mine feed.
Over the 18-year mine plan, the Flemington operation could deliver as much as 1.68-million tonnes of ore from the 3.3-million tonnes of ore available.
ASX-listed Australian Mines on Wednesday said the Flemington project would require a capital investment of A$74-million to build the processing plant, with the project demonstrating a net present value of up to A$255-million and an internal rate of return of 37.3%.
“The results of the scoping study represent another step forward in our strategy to establish a dominant position in the global supply of scandium and in doing so meet growing demand, particularly the expected surge in demand from the electric vehicle market,” said Australian Mines MD Benjamin Bell.
“The scoping study also highlighted that there is enormous potential for the company to increase both the overall tonnage, as well as the head grade of its cobalt mineralisation at Flemington. This can only further cement Australian Mines’ status as a superior cobalt company.”
Bell said the company’s next priority was to proceed with a prefeasibility study and complete a significant drill programme at Flemington, to better define the cobalt resource and upgrade and extend the existing scandium resource, as well as begin working through the follow-up recommendations made in the scoping study.
“The company has also opened dialogue with potential project financiers on the back of the strength of both the Flemington scoping study and the Sconi prefeasibility study,” Bell added.