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IMX Resources eyes plus 12 year mine life at Ntaka Hill after positive Scoping Study

IMX Resources (ASX: IXR) has delivered some very positive outcomes from a Scoping Study covering the Nachingwea Joint Venture in Tanzania.

The Scoping Study is another milestone for the joint venture for the development of the project, which continues to move forward with additional technical studies already in the pipeline to be progressed in coming months, with a Feasibility Study scheduled for the end of 2012.

The study considered two main development options; Open Pit Only (Base Case), and Open Pit plus Underground.

Key Scoping Study highlights:

- Total after tax NPV for the Base Case of US$207 million
- Total life of mine forecast production for the Base Case of 376 million pounds of nickel contained in high grade concentrate;
- Initial mine life in excess of 12 years;
- Low capital cost for production reflecting the low infrastructure requirements and staged development;
- Staged development will allow initial (first 4 years) extraction of high grade near surface Measured and Indicated Resources and further expansion to suit the scale of the resources in the Sleeping Giant zone which are still the subject of further extension drilling;
- Estimated cash costs and total production costs place the project in the second quartile of global nickel producers (based on published industry cost curves); and
- Excellent metallurgical performance indicating the possibility to attract a premium for the high grade concentrate.

In addition, a sensitivity analysis 'Upside Sensitivity Case' was also investigated to understand the impact of low grade mineralisation that is believed to be contained in the Base Case Sleeping Giant pit.

All of these scenarios commence operation at 1 Mtpa of mill feed for four years followed by an expansion of the mining and processing rate.

This upgrade development philosophy is aimed at providing a project scenario that delivers early production from current Measured and Indicated Resources, and maintains modest capital requirements.

Andrew Steers, acting chief executive officer, commented “IMX is pleased by the continued progress and positive news flow from the Nachingwea joint venture project.

"We will be continuing to work with Continental Nickel to advance this project towards production, whilst ensuring we continue to realise the exploration prospectivity of the land holding in Tanzania.”

The Nachingwea joint venture

The joint venture is between IMX (25%) and Continental Nickel (TSXV: CNI) (75%), and the 2011 budget of C$8.775 million is designed to expand the current Mineral Resource at Sleeping Giant.

Funds will also be used to advance the Ntaka Hill nickel copper sulphide deposits towards mine development, and generate and explore priority regional exploration targets.