THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Metro Mining (ASX: MMI) has had a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Bauxite Hills project located in Cape York, Queensland.
The DFS looked at a 1.95 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) production scenario taking into consideration Metro’s strategy to develop Bauxite Hills under a streamlined environmental approval process by adopting a sub 2Mtpa production profile until the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protections (DEHP) advised Metro that a full environmental process would be required for Bauxite Hills.
At the time of the DEHP’s formal advice in late September 2015 the key components of the DFS were largely complete.
As such, Metro decided to complete the DFS in order to assist current studies evaluating an optimised production profile of 4-5Mtpa.
The DFS considers a 25-plus year mining operation producing 1.95Mtpa of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) quality bauxite in steady state.
This production is based on mining all of the DSO resources at Bauxite Hills that were considered feasible as part of the DFS findings.
A total of 53.6 million tonnes of resources exist across the BH1 and BH6 deposits.
The DFS confirmed that Bauxite Hills will have strong and robust project economics given modest CAPEX, low OPEX and an attractive LOM operating margin of $28.73 per tonne.
The DFS calculated a post-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of $235 million and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 148 per cent.
“The completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study within nine months of completing the Pre-Feasibility Study is an enormous achievement for the company and a testament to the project team and the quality of the asset,” Metro Mining CEO Simon Finnis said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The DFS confirms Bauxite Hills as an attractive project that should deliver strong financial returns.
“Metro will now work towards obtaining all relevant regulatory approvals in order to move to a final investment decision for project development whilst also undertaking feasibility studies with respect to a larger mining operation.”