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Toliara mineral sands project – monazite project, Madagascar

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8th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Toliara mineral sands project – monazite project.

Location
The Ranobe deposit, 45 km north of Toliara on a 125.4 km2 mining lease, in Madagascar.

Project Owner/s
African mineral sands producer Base Resources.

Project Description
Base Resources is exploiting the Toliara mineral sands project’s monazite resources.

The Toliara mineral sands definitive feasibility study 2 (DFS2), released in December 2021, estimates mining rates at 13-million tonnes a year in Stage 1, increasing to 25-million tonnes a year following the implementation of Stage 2 in
Year 5.

Monazite was treated as a waste stream in DFS2 and was returned to the mining pit void with all other tailings.

Capitalising on what is essentially a waste stream will make the Toliara project one of the largest and most cost-competitive sources of rare-earth oxides worldwide.

The monazite prefeasibility study (PFS), released in December 2023, shows that tails from the mineral sands processing, planned under the Toliara mineral sands project, can be easily upgraded to a monazite product with modest additional capital expenditure.

Average monazite production is estimated at 21 800 t/y for 2 800 t of neodymium/praesidium over a 38-year mine life.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value (NPV), at a 10% discount rate, of $999-million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 79%, with a payback of about one year.

When combined with the Toliara mineral sands project, the project has an after-tax/predebt NPV of $2-billion and an IRR 32.4%, with a payback of 3.6 years.

Capital Expenditure
The PFS estimated capital expenditure (capex) is $71-million.

The DFS2 estimates capex for Stage 1 at R520-million and Stage 2 at R137-million.

Planned Start/End Date
The construction period in the monazite PFS is estimated at 29 months. The DFS2 estimates a construction period of 27 months for Stage 1 and 21 months for Stage 2.

Latest Developments
Progression of the project towards development has been delayed while the fiscal terms applicable to the project are negotiated with the government of Madagascar.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Mineral Technologies (engineering development and capital cost estimate for the monazite concentrator plant; Lycopodium (export facility onshore infrastructure, consolidated capital cost estimate and schedule); PRDW (engineering development and cost estimate for modifications to the offshore component of the export facility to accommodate container transport and shiploading; Ibis Consulting (preliminary assessment of the environmental and social risks, impacts and opportunities of the monazite project); and Met Chem Consulting, reviewing of the monazite concentrator plant process deliverables – flowsheets, mass and water balance).

Contact Details for Project Information
Base Resources manager of communications and investor relations James Fuller, tel +61 8 9413 7426 or email jfuller@baseresources.com.au.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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