IMX Resources (ASX: IXR, TSX: IXR, IXR.WT) reports the filing of the NI 43-101 Technical Report for the updated preliminary economic assessment for the development of the Ntaka Hill Nickel Sulphide Project.
The project is located approximately 250km west of the port town of Mtwara, and is part of the 100% owned Nachingwea property in south eastern Tanzania.
Neil Meadows, managing director, commented: "The Technical Report provides the details on the economic assessment and other technical investigations that have been carried out to date.
"The next stage of evaluation of the project is to incorporate the results of this year's drilling program at Ntaka Hill into an updated Resource estimate and to assess the potential for discovery of new mineralised resources at the broader Ntaka Hill intrusion."
- Estimated C1 cash costs of USD 5.00 per pound of payable nickel which is mid range for global nickel producers.
- Clear cash operating margin demonstrated over various metal price assumptions, including current spot price.
- Estimated mine life of approximately 15 years.
- Average annual contained nickel production of 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes per annum.
- Confirmed modest pre-production capital investment of USD 227M.
- NPV of USD 212M after tax based on 2011 PEA metal pricing (compared to USD 207M).
- NPV of USD 147M using three-year trailing average prices in line with US SEC guidelines which compares favourably to the 2011 PEA analysis (USD 122M) using these same metal prices.
- Potential increase in both grade and tonnage at Sleeping Giant from: (i) in-fill drilling of near surface hanging wall mineralisation to the north, and (ii) extension drilling targeting down plunge higher grade core.
- Potential for delineation of new near surface mineralised zones close to the existing resources, currently being drill-tested.
- Optimisation of flotation conditions is likely to improve the already excellent metallurgical performance. A definitive test work program, which includes extensive variability testing, is currently underway.
- Future optimisation of the mining plan as part of a PFS, has potential to reduce up-front stripping requirements and defer cash flow for mining activities.
ONGOING WORK AND NEXT STEPS
Based on the results of the updated PEA, IMX's board and management are committed to continuing with the evaluation and long lead development activities for the Project in order to reduce the project risk profile. The following work program is currently underway:
- Continued investigation and discussion with the Tanzanian government departments and other groups to secure access to key project infrastructure such as power, roads and port facilities.
- Completion of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) that is already well advanced with the aim of receiving environmental approval by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
- The definitive metallurgical test work program that is currently underway on approximately 12t of sample at G&T Metallurgical Laboratories in Kamloops, Canada is expected to be completed during early 2013.
- A Mineral Resource update based on the recent drilling program (20,940m), is expected in the first quarter of 2013.
- Optimisation of the mining options for the project will continue in order to identify a single development plan based on the updated resource, ready for consideration at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
IMX said that subject to the outcomes of the work programs and prevailing market conditions, a PFS/DFS3 will be commenced in mid-2013. If the study is positive, a final investment decision is expected to be made in early 2014 with production commencing in late 2015 / early 2016.
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