The key outcomes of the DFS are:
- Confirmation of the significant economic benefits of expanding to an annualised rate of 6 million wet metric tonnes (WMT);
- Reserves of 109.5 million tonnes at Bauxite Hills and a mine life to 2037;
- Production target of 4 million WMT in 2020, followed by 6 million WMT per annum thereafter;
- Significant reduction in unit operating costs by the use of a Floating Terminal (FT) that can load larger, ungeared Ocean-Going Vessels (OGVs), including Cape Size vessels;
- Capital costs of $51.4 Million (including 10% contingency);
- The FT comprises about 85% of the total expansion capital;
- Expansion of the accommodation camp, port area modifications and fleet additions (including mobillisation) makes up the remainder of the capital spend;
- Life of Mine unit operating costs are forecast to reduce by about 18% delivered to China when operating at the 6M WMT per annum rate, which will increase operating margins. This will position Bauxite Hills in the lowest quartile of the global cash cost curve for bauxite producers;
- Project payback in less than 18 months;
- Metro has appointed Rocktree Consulting to complete the engineering, design and supplier quotation of the FT - expected to be completed in November;
- Negotiations with debt providers are well advanced;
- The final decision to proceed will follow finalisation of the funding package and completion of the detailed engineering and design work from Rocktree.
Metro managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis said: “The completion of the feasibility study and selection of the preferred design for the FT is a key step to allow execution of the expansion at Bauxite Hills by 2021.
“It builds on the outstanding production performance and operating experience gained since the mine commenced production in April 2018.
“We have some further work to do on the final design, and we need to finalise the funding package, and then we will present to the board for their approval.
“It is pleasing to see the DFS completed and we thank shareholders for their patience.
“The DFS clearly shows that the expansion confirms Bauxite Hills as one of the lowest cost and largest independent producers of bauxite in the market.”