Lower output expected at Romang Island - Robust

28th May 2014 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Robust Resources on Wednesday insisted that its proposed Romang Island manganese project, in Indonesia, remained viable, despite a revised scoping study lowering production and revenue forecasts.

The initial scoping study, released in April this year, estimated that it could deliver about 250 000 t/y of manganese over a two- to three-year project life, generating gross revenue of between $50-million and $100-million.

However, the revised scoping study indicated that the project would only deliver 200 000 t/y of manganese product, over a mine life of two years, to generate a gross revenue of between $40-million and $60-million.

The remainder of the project economics has remained unchanged, with capital costs still estimated at between $8-million and $10-million, and operating costs estimated at between $42/t and $50/t of manganese product.

The revised scoping study concluded that while being small scale and with a short production life, the Romang Island project was commercially attractive, with strong financial returns.

The study also pointed out that the current inferred manganese resource will likely be increased or converted to indicated resource classification by ongoing exploration and evaluation studies and, thereby, may extend the mine life for longer than two years and increase commercial returns.

“The economics of the manganese project on Romang Island are very favourable and our focus is to advance with this project so we can generate an early cash flow to help fund future development,” said Robust MD Gary Lewis.

He noted that the revised scoping study was based entirely on an indicated mineral resource, adding that the company was working to enhance the resource estimate.

“The study also confirms that there is an opportunity from potential beneficiation of lower-grade manganese mineralisation, which is currently not included in the mineral resource. This drilling is now under way and forms part of the manganese project feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014,” Lewis said.