THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Hastings Rare Metals has received the results of a recently completed scoping study on its 100 per cent-owned Hastings heavy rare earth project located near Halls Creek in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
The company said that the study results highlight the project’s potential to deliver excellent returns on the back of current strong market fundamentals for heavy rare earths in both the medium and long term.
It claims the project comprises one of the richest heavy rare earth deposits in the world today.
Source: Company announcement
The study assumed an initial mine life at Hasting of 15 years, however the company regards this to be a conservative estimate.
Based on the current JORC-compliant 36 million tonnes Inferred and Indicated Resource, the company asserted it anticipates the project to have a potential operational life exceeding 20 years.
“The scoping study results demonstrate the excellent potential for commercial success of Hastings’ heavy rare earth project,” Hastings Rare Metals technical director Steve Mackowski said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Completion of the scoping study is a major milestone, confirming the value of historical test work and the pilot plant in positioning the company years ahead of other heavy rare earth project.
“The study provided invaluable insight for ongoing metallurgical test work and future bulk processing trials, exploration and infill drilling.”
The internal scoping study primarily considered various production scenarios based on a plant capacity of one million tonnes per annum producing a combination of critical heavy rare earth oxides and rare metal products.
The study modelled an openpit mining operation and the on-site production of marketable products.
Based on the study, Hastings Rare Metals said the project now has a net present value in excess of $500 million.
“This is a world-class resource and there is great scope to further develop the project through pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility studies,” Mackowski added.
“The positive results of the study follow completion of a large drilling program and release of a new 36 million tonne JORC-compliant resource in September 2011, which included for the first time assays for all rare earth elements and identification of previous test work results at the Hastings’ heavy rare earth project.”