PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mineral sands miner Base Resources is not expecting a final investment decision (FID) on its Toliara project, in Madagascar, ahead of September 2021.
Speaking at the Africa Downunder Conference, in Perth, Base MD Tim Carstens said that there was little clarity on the timing of the FID, given the current Covid-19 pandemic and the global travel restrictions in place.
The Madagascar government in November of last year suspended activities at Toliara, as negotiations around the fiscal terms applicable to the Toliara project were initiated.
Carstens on Wednesday said the company was making "good headway" in the discussions with the Madagascar government, and that the company was "optimistic" about its progress.
Subject to a positive FID in September next year, construction of Toliara is expected to take some 26 months to complete, with first shipments targeted for the end of 2023.
The Stage 1 Toliara project is expected to cost $442-million to establish a 13-million-tonne-a-year processing operation.
The Stage 2 operation would see the operation increase to 19-million tonnes a year, at an additional cost of $69-million.
Over the initial 33-year mine life, the Toliara operation is expected to produce an average of 780 000 t/y of ilmenite, 53 000 t/y of zircon and a further 7 000 t/y of rutile, generating annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $164.3-million.