Following on from the Re-Start study in 2018, the Company announced a highly positive Bankable Feasibility study (BFS) during August 2019. The BFS demonstrates the project will generate excellent returns, driven by the exceptional high grade of the operation.
The BFS assumed mine access via a new decline from surface instead of rehabilitating the old Winston shaft. The numbers are based on a 1,000 tpd operation, with a total upfront capital cost of US$87m (plus US$10M pre-production and Owner’s costs). Superior Lake is expected to produce over LOM an average of 32ktpa of zinc concentrate and 5.2ktpa of copper concentrate. Subject to successful completion of the key activities set out in the previous page, production is expected to commence in 2021 for a mine life of 9 years. There are also several advanced exploration targets that present an opportunity for a potential extension to the mine life. Key highlights from the study include:
- Financial returns:
- C1 Cost – US$ 0.35/lb Zn
- AISC Cost – US$ 0.47/ lb Zn
- NPV8 pre-tax US$157M (A$224M)
- IRR 31% (pre-tax)
- Key production figures:
- Plant throughput 325,000 tonnes per annum
- Total 2.2 million tonnes treated
- Average grade: 13.7% Zn
- Average zinc recovery: 96%
- Initial capital expenditure of US$86M (A$106M) excluding owners and pre-production
- Life of Mine of 9 years
- Annual production (after ramp-up) of 38ktpa contained Zinc and 1.4ktpa contained Copper
Full details of the BFS can be accessed by here.