Mineral sands project developer Strandline said on Tuesday that it would move to finalise funding and partnering for its Coburn project, in Western Australia, after a definitive feasibility study (DFS) outlined the project's strong financial returns.
The DFS calculates that Coburn will generate financial returns with a pretax net present value of A$551-million at an 8% discount rate, and an internal rate of return of 32%.
The study shows Coburn can deliver a high-value heavy mineral concentrate product (HMC case) or it can be refined to final products (final product case). For the HMC case, Strandline will have to find A$207-million in development capital and an additional $50-million for the final products option.
“The ability to produce saleable products in both concentrate and final product opens the door to a wide range of offtake and funding options for Coburn,” MD Luke Graham said in a media statement.
The mine will operate over an initial 22.5 years, with an average production of 23.4-million tonnes a year.
In the final product case, the HMC will be processed using electrostatic separation, gravity and magnetic fractionation to produce a high-value product suite comprising a premium zircon product (66% ZrO2), zircon concentrate product (28% ZrO2 and 11% TiO2), HiTi90 product (which combines the rutile and leucoxene minerals to produce a 90% TiO2 blend) and a chloride-grade ilmenite product (62% TiO2)
Coburn has mineral resources of 1.6-billion tonnes at 1.2% total heavy minerals (THM), classified 119-million tonnes measured, 607-million tonnes indicated and 880-million tonnes inferred.
The ore reserve is 523-million tonnes, grading 1.11% THM for about 5.8-million tonnes of contained heavy minerals.
Strandline said there was immense potential to further increase the project reserves and mine life through evaluation and conversion of resources extending north and along strike of the current ore reserves.