THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Barra Resources (ASX: BAR) released the long-awaited results for the Pre-Feasibility Study completed at the company’s Mt Thirsty cobalt-nickel project in Western Australia.
Barra Resources declared Mt Thirsty has now claimed the number one position of Australia’s ‘most advanced genuine cobalt project’.
Nickel is not forgotten and has emerged as a useful by-product with a cobalt-nickel value split of 71 per cent to 29 per cent.
The study has scaled up the project to a 1.8 million dry tonnes per annum feed rate to produce 19100 tonnes of cobalt and 24800 tonnes of nickel as a Mixed Sulphide Product (MSP) over a 12 year mine life.
The project boasts an estimated maiden JORC 2012 Probable Ore Reserve of 18.8 million dry tonnes at 0.13 per cent cobalt and 0.54 per cent nickel.
The release of the study results coincides with a cobalt price that is forecast to rise by investment banks surveyed by the company as demand for electric vehicle batteries continues to grow and other cobalt supply growth options limited.
The Mt Thirsty Joint Venture (MTJV) has identified the highest value development path to be a farm-in from a large global firm, eager to secure a guaranteed sustainable source of cobalt.
The direct project expenditure for the MTJV now reverts to a minimum while the partnering strategy is pursued as planned.
The MTJV is now re-engaging with several major Australian and international mining, trading and refining firms who have all identified a high quality PFS as their minimum investment criteria.
“This study is the culmination of 18 months’ work by the MTJV,” Barra Resources managing director and CEO and MTJV PFS manager Sean Gregory said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“I am confident that the PFS has been completed to a very high standard by global engineering houses that will stand up to the most detailed scrutiny from potential project partners.
“We are now looking forward to engaging with these large global firms who are eager to secure a guaranteed sustainable source of cobalt for electric vehicle batteries.”