PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A prefeasibility study (PFS) into the Toliara mineral sands project, in Madagascar, has estimated that the project could produce some 37.1-million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate over a life-of-mine of 33 years.
ASX-listed Base Resources told shareholders that the PFS envisaged a two-stage development option, with the Stage 1 operation estimated to cost $439-million to develop a 13-million-tonne-a-year operation, while the Stage 2 operation would expand production to 19-million tonnes a year, for an additional cost of $67-million.
Toliara is expected to deliver annual average production of 806 000 t of ilmenite, 54 000 t of zircon and 8 000 t of rutile.
The project is expected to deliver life-of-mine revenues of $292-million, with free cash flow of $3.6-billion. The PFS estimated a post-tax net present value of $483-million and an internal rate of return of 22.4%.
Base MD Tim Carstens said on Thursday that the PFS confirmed the company’s long-held view that the Toliara project is one of the best mineral sands development opportunities in the world.
“The release of the PFS finding is a significant milestone for Base Resources as it provides a clear basis for understanding our value proposition as we progress towards becoming a multi-operation mining company.”
Base has now started on a definitive feasibility study for the project, which will be completed at the end of 2019, ahead of an investment decision in the first quarter of 2020.
This timeline could see Toliara start production by the end of 2021.