Cassini Resources Ltd (ASX:CZI) and partner OZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:OZL) continue to progress a pre-feasibility study (PFS) at West Musgrave project with an assessment of a 10 million tonnes per annum scenario aligned to the further scoping study with an extended mine life.
The original PFS timeline has been extended to provide for detailed evaluation of a range of potential value-add opportunities.
The West Musgrave province is relatively under-explored and the potential upside is highlighted by a significant existing inferred resource at Succoth and prospectivity at One Tree Hill – both within 15 kilometres of the Nebo Babel project.
OZ Minerals’ chief executive officer Andrew Cole said: “The PFS is advancing on a base case assessment aligned with the further scoping study conclusion of a 10 million tonnes per annum copper-nickel open pit mine.
“We are using an innovative and inclusive process to develop West Musgrave as a modern mine that creates maximum value.
“Through the collaborative progress we have identified several opportunities and threats warranting further investigation, including some significant innovations that will help include the valuation of the project in one of the most remote areas of Australia.”
Processing facility and infrastructure
Cole added: “These include the use of a reduced site footprint through a remote-operations centre, the use of hybrid power solutions, innovative technology and a process flowsheet which pilot testing has shown could result in a reduction in power usage.
“We believe these opportunities have to potential to reduce our carbon footprint and power costs versus a traditional mine footprint.”
OZ Minerals’ chief commercial officer Mark Irwin said: “Extending the timeline of activities also allows for a greater level of in-fill drilling that was contemplated in our original pre-feasibility study timeline.
“This will provide a clearer view of the project economics and key value drivers when the PFS is completed early next year.”
Potential site layout
The value-based opportunities requiring further evaluation during the remainder of 2019 to form part of the Base Case of the PFS include:
- Undertaking further pilot testing of the Loesche Mill and additional flotation cell technologies, all of which have the potential to reduce capital and operating costs, while increasing metal recovery;
- Evaluating the merits of a Remote Operations Centre, focusing particularly on network infrastructure requirements and workforce planning;
- Deepening knowledge of power options with a view to identifying future partners; and
- Updating the mineral resource to include drilling completed since December 2018, and re-iterate the mine design, in order to release a maiden ore reserve.
Sufficient drilling has been completed to support completion of the PFS and drill rigs will be demobilised from site in mid-September.
The Bulk Flotation flowsheet, which is already in the base case, will be pilot tested over the coming months in order to fully de-risk it.
Additional $10 million approved
To complete these works, the OZ Minerals Board has approved an additional $10 million to complete the PFS.
The completed PFS is targeted for completion in early 2020, at which time an updated mineral resource and maiden ore reserve is also expected to be declared.