The enhanced definite feasibility study (DFS) was released in January 2019, substantially de-risking the mine, adding exceptional financial metrics and moving the company closer to its goal of becoming a globally significant borates producer.
The DFS showed very low capex, high margin, low technical risk, and exceptional economics, including an unlevered post-tax NPV8 of $2.21 billion with an EBITDA target in full production of US$345 million.
During the year, ABR continued discussions with Chinese state-owned enterprises with respect to financing and offtakes, demonstrated its ultra-high boric acid purity (+99.9%) and was rated the ‘Best Development Stage Mining Project Globally’ by Mining Journal.
In the second half of the year, ABR completed basic engineering for the mine, was awarded its second last operational permits, connected grid electricity and commenced the process to connect network gas and agreed a term sheet with a New York mining investor to substantially debt fund the first phase of the mine.
More recently, ABR began working on revising the Fort Cady Borate Mine DFS to potentially increase SOP (sulphate of potash) production and it also commenced initial construction activities.
Turning to 2020, the company continues to work constructively with the referral authority for the final main operational permit, expected to be awarded over the coming months.
The enhanced DFS is expected to be released by April 30, setting a clear pathway to initial production in 2021.