PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The definitive feasibility study (DFS) into the Sorby Hills lead/silver/zinc project, in Western Australia, has estimated that the project will require a capital investment of A$245-million.
ASX-listed Boab Metals on Thursday reported that over an initial eight-and-a-half-year mine life, 18.3-million tonnes of ore would be mined and processed through the Sorby Hills processing plant, delivering an average 103 000 t/y of concentrate containing 64 000 t/y of payable lead and 2-million ounces a year of payable silver.
The mined ore will be treated at an initial rate of 1.5-million tonnes a year expanding to 2.25-million tonnes a year after the first year of production.
The project is expected to generate a pre-tax net present value of A$370-million and an internal rate of return of 35%, with the DFS estimating a C1 cash cost of $0.39/lb of payable lead, including a net silver credit of $0.38/lb of payable lead.
Boab MD and CEO Simon Noon said on Thursday that the delivery of the DFS for Sorby Hills was the culmination of an enormous body of work, completed to a high level of confidence and presented a strong result that supported progress towards a decision to mine.
“The study has been undertaken against a dynamic economic backdrop and has largely withstood the impact of global inflationary pressure. We are pleased to state that approximately 75% of the pre-production capital expenditure and direct mining costs are underpinned by current tendered pricing, thus minimising risk of substantial cost increases between study completion and execution of final contracts.
“With the DFS released, the company will now look to conclude negotiations with offtakers which are well advanced, finalise independent technical due diligence on the project and secure debt finance. We look forward to working closely with our joint venture partner Yuguang towards a decision to mine in mid-2023 and bringing Sorby Hills into production for the benefit of shareholders and the local Kununurra and East Kimberley communities.”