THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Africa-focused phosphate developer Minbos Resources has received the results of a scoping study recently conducted by CRU Strategies on the Cacata project, located within the company’s Cabinda project area in the Republic of Angola.
Cacata contains an indicated resource of 33.9 million tonnes with average phosphate content of 15.75% including 22.5 million tonnes resource at 21.4% phosphorus pentoxide.
“The completion of the Scoping Study on Cacata is an important milestone in the ongoing development of the project,” Minibos Resources executive chairman Peter Richards said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The scoping study highlights that the required capital expenditure and operating costs remain at the low end of the industry range for comparable scale projects and has the potential to produce a premium product which all make for potentially very robust economics.
“Going forward Minbos now has this high grade project in the development stage, supported by additional significant tonnages within its Cabinda licences, the potential of a similarly robust project at its 100 per cent-owned Kanzi prospect in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now complemented by our potential potash project located immediately adjacent and under our Cabinda licence.
“Minbos is very well positioned to capitalise on the increasing demand for fertilisers as it aims to be a supplier to the world fertiliser market.”
Minbos indicated potential existed to supplement the Cataca resource from the nearby Chivovo deposit which contains relatively high grades of between 28 per cent to 34 per cent phosphorus pentoxide.
The company expects to mine Cacata using open pit mining methods and a conventional beneficiated process including size classification and attrition scrubbing, wet screening and desliming at 106 microns.
The company said the scoping study assumed a target production rate of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of marketable phosphate rock, which provides for an operation life in excess of 10 years.
In its study CRU said, as a general rule, a phosphate rock project generally requires a US$100 to US$250 capital expenditure per tonne of annual capacity.
This equates to US$100 million to US$250 million for one million tonne s per annum capacity of rock concentrate.
“The Cacata project is expected to be at the lower end or in fact below this range due to the fact that it is foregoing the purchase of mining and haulage equipment by using contractors, the deposit is relatively high grade, it will not require a complex beneficiation process and is close to infrastructure,” Minbos said.
“A cash operating cost midpoint estimate of US$46/t has been projected (with a low and high range of US$35 to US$58 per tonne).”