PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study into the Chaketma phosphate project, in Tunisia, has estimated that the project could produce 1.5-million tonnes a year of high-quality concentrate over a mine life of 46 years.
ASX-listed PhosCo on Friday told shareholders that the scoping study found that the project had the potential to produce 128-million tonnes at 19.9% phosphorus pentoxide over its mine life.
The openpit operation will require a capital investment of $170-million, and could generate a revenue of around $10.1-billion, based on a phosphate price of $150/t free-on-board. The scoping study estimated an aftertax net present value of $657-million and an internal rate of return of 54%, with a pay-back period of 1.5 years.
“The Chaketma phosphate project’s scoping study results are breath-taking. The robust project economics confirm the potential to generate excellent financial returns over a long mine life of 46 years. The capital expenditure of $170-million will be paid back in just 1.5 years,” said PhosCo executive director Taz Aldaoud.
“PhosCo has used a conservative long-term rock phosphate price of $150/t to calculate a post-tax net present value of $657-million. By way of comparison, the World Bank has most recently reported a rock phosphate price of $300/t. These results confirm that the Chaketma phosphate project truly is world-class, but the work has not stopped there, with our technical team identifying several opportunities to optimise the project parameters even further,” said Aldaoud.
“The development of Chaketma will provide major benefits to Tunisia and its people. The project is also being advanced at a critically important time, given the growing concerns globally around food security. With the scoping study now complete, the company looks forward to commencing a bankable feasibility study and progressing discussions with both the Tunisian government and development and commercial banks.”