IronClad Mining (ASX: IFE) has re-optimised the Stage One mine plan for its Wilcherry Hill iron ore project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula that has estimated Open Cut Marketable Reserves at 2.9 million tonnes.
This consists of 1.9Mt DSO ore grading 57% iron and 1Mt of dry magnetic separation (DMS) product with an average concentrate grade of 52.6% iron.
It noted that at current iron prices of about US$133 per tonne, the project would generate cash flow of A$90 million after capital repayment – an IRR of 305%, and cash flow of A$48 million (IRR 114%) at floor prices of US$110 per tonne.
The company expects to receive the key final port development approval in late October which will in turn accelerate current financing negotiations.
The Stage One development of Wilcherry Hill is defined as the mining and shipping of DSO and DMS ore.
Start-up capital requirements are estimated at about $22 million, allowing for the purchase of owner operated crushing plant that would help reduce overall operating costs by about 25%.
It is proposed that the port fleet of two dumb barges, two tugs and a floating crane will be finance leased and be fully paid by the end of current Stage One mining operation. The lease costs are included in the overall operating costs and are anticipated to amount to about $24 million.
Ore will initially be transported by double road trains to a stockpile storage facility about 1.5 kilometres from the port of Lucky Bay, which is located 120 kilometres south of Whyalla.
From there it will be loaded into air-tight containers and tractor transported to the portside hardstand before being loaded by crane onto dumb barges.
Tugs will then take the barges 5.5 nautical miles out to sea where a barge mounted crane will be moored. This will then load the ore from the containers into Panamax or Cape-sized vessels anchored alongside it.
Several Chinese buyers have already confirmed their willingness to buy the DSO product.
Ironclad has a 80% interest in the project while Trafford Resources (ASX: TRF) holds the remaining 20%.
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