An updated Scoping Study to consider wet-processing on site rather than dry-processing, which was the focus of the original Scoping Study, has delivered further significant improvement to the project economics for the Poochera Halloysite-Kaolin Project

Wet-Processing Delivers Improved Economics for Poochera Halloysite-Kaolin Project

An Updated Scoping Study to consider wet-processing on site has delivered further significant improvement to the project economics for the proposed Poochera Halloysite-Kaolin Project.

Wet-processing at site provides improved kaolin recoveries over dry-processing leading to additional revenues and lower costs per unit sold.

Updated Life of Mine (LOM) key financial metrics compared to the Original Scoping Study based on dry-processing now comprise:

  • All In Sustaining Cost (AISC) averages A$374/tonne (down from A$396/tonne) of fully refined kaolin with an anticipated selling price of A$700/tonne;
  • Refined kaolin produced (LOM) increases to 227ktpa (up 40ktpa);
  • Pre-production capital is estimated at A$13M with a maximum cash requirement of A$29M prior to initial revenues being received;
  • Project Cashflow is now A$1,049M, an increase of A$251M;
  • Net Present Value (@ 8% discount rate) is A$544M, up A$131M;
  • Internal Rate of Return unchanged at 175%;
  • Payback period unchanged at 15 months from start of mining, with a projected A$35M wet-processing plant, funded by start-up Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) material shipping and toll wet-refining activities, planned to be constructed during the second year of operations.

An initial mine life of 15 years producing premium grade refined kaolin to meet the large and growing supply shortfall in high value bright-white halloysite-kaolin product for ceramics applications is unchanged.

The mine plan Production Target is based on the February 2019 Mineral Resource and involves shallow open-cut mining of kaolinised granite at 500ktpa, or 7.6Mt over the LOM, which after processing and refining yields a LOM 2.8Mt of premium product.

Both the initial bulk DSO material and subsequent wet-processed filter cake product will be shipped through existing, or under development, port facilities.

Estimated workforce of 30-40 people to reside locally or at Streaky Bay.

The wet-processing results will be incorporated into the Pre-Feasibility Study currently underway due for release in the second quarter 2020.

The economic and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still to be determined. This study uses the same assumptions and metrics as the original Scoping Study released in September 2019 with no update to currency rates, market pricing or timing.

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