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The independent review by SRK estimated that Šturec contains 13.97 million tonnes of ore, grading 1.7 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold and 14.22g/t silver (1.9g/t gold equivalent).
The project has a net present value (NPV) of US$195mln (post-tax NPV of US$145mln) and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 30% at US$1,343 per ounce of gold equivalent. The project has a projected lifespan of 11 years with average annual production tipped to hit 71,000 ounces of gold equivalent.
SRK's review recommends moving on to a bankable feasibility study.
The report said: “Based on the pre-feasibility level technical work undertaken and the assumptions made by SRK for this study, the Šturec project is financially viable and its processing is economic at gold prices below the current spot price. The results warrant progression to the next level of technical study.”
Chief executive Vassilios Carellas said he was pleased with the results of the report.
“The results of the PFS highlight the potential of the Šturec project to act as an economic engine with the opportunity to drive further local development and co-created businesses,” he said.
“Our focus now is to build on the locally viable ideas and undertake an economic, social and environment assessment to help identify potential locally acceptable options to incorporate this economic engine into local development and conservation measures in a way that benefits all stakeholders alike.”
City broker RF Ambrian described the update from Ortac as a “positive announcement” that provided further reassurance that the project is economically viable.
“The maiden ore reserve demonstrates a good conversion of 86% on Measured and Indicated resources. The Inferred resource is from relatively discontinuous mineralisation off the main ore body, and in our view is unlikely to add much in the way of additional reserves. However, the mineralisation has the potential to extend along-strike and down-dip where historical mine infrastructure extends below the current open-pit reserve. Management has chosen not to test this exploration potential as full value from any exploration success will only be received once a clearer path to production at Šturec is demonstrated,” Ortac’s house broker said.