THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Aquila Steel SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Aquila Resources, has completed a Definitive Feasibility Study for the Gravenhage manganese project situated in the north of its Avontuur prospecting right in the Kalahari region of South Africa.
Aquila said it considers the project to hold potentialfor the discovery of high-grade manganese mineralisation.
The company continues to explore on the farms to the south of Gravenhage, focusing on high-grade manganese mineralisation that has been discovered at the Haakdoorn prospect.
Haakdoorn Prospect – Drilling and Manganese Mineralisation. Source: Company announcement
The DFS proposes a 1.5 million tonnes per annum run of mine opencut operation, with subsequent underground mining producing oxide manganese ore over a total mine life of 17 years, inclusive of the initial ramp-up in production, with exports to commence in 2015 through Port Elizabeth.
The Gravenhage project is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Aquila holds a 74 per cent interest in the project, with the remaining 26 per cent held by South African Black Economic Empowerment company, Rakana Consolidated Mines.
“Mined ore will be crushed and screened to produce 1.125 million tonnes per annum of lumpy ore for export and 330 kilo tonnes per annum of fine ore for supply to domestic sinter plants,” Aquila Resources said in its ASX announcement.
“While fine ore will be trucked directly to sinter plants located in the Kalahari manganese field, the lumpy ore will be trucked to a rail siding near Hotazel where it will be loaded on to trains for haulage initially to Port Elizabeth in 2015 and ultimately to new port facilities at either Saldanha Bay or Coega.
“The major target market is China, where ferro-alloy producers have expressed strong interest in evaluating the Gravenhage ores.”
According to the DFS the project can be developed for an initial capital cost of US$179.9 million, utilising January 2012 terms.
This includes provision for a contingency of 11.4 per cent of direct capital cost.
Additional capital for underground development will not be incurred until 2018, which is the 4th scheduled year of production.
With the completion of the mine plan for the project, Aquila said a maiden Reserve Statement has been developed.
This has identified 20.2 million tonnes of Proven and Probable Reserves (JORC) across the proposed open pit and the underground mines.
The company said that due to the pit’s Resource classification, there remains an inventory of 2.6 million tonnes of material within the pit boundaries.