31 January 2018
Metal Tiger Plc
("Metal Tiger" or the "Company")
Botswana Copper/Silver Project –T3 Pre-Feasibility Study Results
Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR), the London Stock Exchange AIM listed investor in strategic natural resource opportunities, is pleased to provide an update regarding the Company’s Joint Venture (“JV”) project with partner MOD Resources Limited (ASX:MOD) (“MOD”) in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana (70% MOD Resources/30% Metal Tiger).
- Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) completed for the T3 Open-Pit Project in Botswana. PFS prepared to overall level of accuracy of ±25%.
- PFS considers two cases; Base Case with production from Proven and Probable Ore Reserve; and Expansion Case with additional production from Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources from Year 4.
- PFS Base Case with plant throughput of 2.5Mtpa indicates circa US$730m EBITDA over 9 years.
- Where Expansion Case proceeds, PFS indicates potential for circa US$1.1 billion EBITDA over 12 years.
- PFS concludes that T3 offers a low-risk, low capital pathway to copper production supported by improving confidence in the long-term consensus copper price.
- JV partners have agreed to proceed with a Feasibility Study (FS) commencing Q1 2018.
- PFS Base Case Model assumes open pit mining and conventional flotation ore processing with a plant throughput of 2.5Mtpa and ore supply from Measured and Indicated category resources only i.e. the Proved and Probable Ore Reserve.
- NPV(8%) US$281m (pre-tax), using long term US$3.00/lb Cu, IRR 39%
- Net cashflow US$530m (pre-tax), inclusive of development capital
- Annual free cash flow US$77m (pre-tax), from production start
- Payback 2.7 years from production start
- Estimated average C1 costs of US$1.22/lb Cu including silver credits
- All in sustaining unit costs (AISC) of US$1.36/lb Cu including silver credits
- LOM cash break-even copper price of US$1.78/lb Cu on an undiscounted basis
Capital Costs and Infrastructure
- Pre-production capital expenditure of US$155m including US$17m contingency
- LOM sustaining capital expenditure of US$31m
- Assumes grid power expected January 2022 adding ~US$10m EBITDA pa
- Maiden Ore Reserve containing 218kt Cu and 7.1Moz Ag
- Base Case 8.8-year mine life from production start
- Average production of 23kt pa Cu and 690koz pa Ag in concentrate
- Waste to Ore ratio 4.76
- PFS Expansion Case Model assumes open pit mining and conventional flotation processing with a plant throughput of 2.5Mtpa for the first three years from production start. Assuming the Expansion Case proceeds, the plant will be upgraded to enable it to treat 4Mtpa from the start of Year 4.
- NPV (8%) US$402m (pre-tax), using long term US3.00/lb Cu, IRR 37%
- Net cashflow US$840m (pre-tax), inclusive of development capital
- Annual free cash flow of US$85m (pre-tax), from production start
- Payback of 3.3 years from production start
- Estimated average C1 costs of US$1.30/lb Cu including silver credits
- All in sustaining unit costs (AISC) of US$1.46/lb Cu including silver credits
- LOM cash break-even copper price of US$1.77/lb Cu on an undiscounted basis
Capital Costs and Infrastructure
- Low expansion capital of US$37m for plant upgrade from 2.5Mtpa to 4.0Mtpa
- LOM sustaining capital expenditure of US$54m
- LOM Production Target containing 353kt Cu and 12.3Moz Ag
- Expansion Case 11.7-year mine life from production start
- Average LOM production of 28kt pa Cu and 903koz pa Ag
- Waste to Ore ratio 4.28
Michael McNeilly Chief Executive Officer of Metal Tiger commented:
“The Board of Metal Tiger are delighted with the outcome of the Pre-Feasibility Study and commend our joint venture partners MOD Resources, our external consultants, governmental stakeholders and all of the Tshukudu team for their tireless work and support in getting the project to this point.
The fact that the JV has taken from discovery to a very robust PFS in little more than twenty-two months is tantamount to the level of work and commitment all the stakeholders have put in to the project.
We would also like to thank our shareholders for backing us and helping us to achieve this milestone.
It Is exciting to report that with the robust PFS results to hand both Metal Tiger and MOD are unified in our commitment to progress the project to the next level, and will be commissioning further studies to upgrade understanding to a Feasibility Study level, with work due to commence this quarter.”
This announcement coincides with an update released today by MOD, which contains supportive images and JORC (2012 edition) Table 1, and can be viewed through the following link:
T3 Open Pit Pre-Feasibility Study Key Metrics:
PFS Base Case Mineral Reserves Ore Reserve Tonne (Mt) Grade % Cu Ag g/t Contained
Proved 8.78 1.13 11.1 98.95 3.14 Probable 12.65 0.94 9.7 118.64 3.93 Total Reserve 21.43 1.02 10.3 217.59 7.07 PFS Expansion Case Mineral Resources Mineral Resources
(0.25% Cu cut-off)
Tonne (Mt) Grade % Cu Ag g/t Contained Cu (kt) Contained Ag (Moz) Measured Resources 10.29 1.15 11.59 118.34 3.83 Indicated Resources 14.16 1.01 10.93 143.02 4.98 Inferred Resources 25.62 0.76 9.98 194.71 8.22 Total Resources 50.07 0.91 10.58 456.07 17.03 Production Target Parameters Base Case Expansion Case Life of Mine 9.6 Yr.(s) 12.4 Yr.(s) Ore Tonnes Mined 21.4Mt - Production target – Expansion Case - 41Mt Inferred Mineral Resource in Mine Schedule 0% 34% Waste: Ore ratio 4.76 4.28 Copper Grade 1.02% 0.86% Copper cut-off grade (excluding silver credit) 0.34% 0.27% Silver Grade 10.3g/t 9.3g/ Processing Life 8.8 Yr.(s) 11.7 Yr.(s) Processing Plant Capacity (July 2020 to Sept 2023) 2.5Mt 2.5Mt Processing Plant Capacity (Oct 2023 onwards) 2.5Mt 4.0Mt Copper in concentrate – LOM 203kt 325kt Copper in concentrate – LOM 447Mlb 718Mlb Copper in concentrate – Annual average 23kt 28kt Copper in concentrate – Annual average 51Mlb 62Mlb Silver in concentrate – LOM 6,097koz 10,530koz Silver in concentrate – Annual average 690koz 903koz Life of Mine Financial Economics Base Case (US$) Expansion
Base Case Copper Price (consensus long term average) 1 3.00/lb 1 3.00/lb 1 Revenue 1,410m 2,268m C1 Cash Costs2 1.22/lb 1.30/lb All in Sustaining Costs3 (US$/lb Cu) 1.36/lb 1.46/lb EBITDA 734m 1,103m Net Cash Flow (pre-tax) 530m 840 Undiscounted Cash Breakeven Copper Price 1.78/lb 1.77/lb Pre-tax NPV (8% real) 281m 402m IRR (pre-tax) 39% 37% Capital Payback Period (from first production) 2.7Yr(s) 3.3Yr(s)
1 Copper prices in year 1 and 2 of production averages 3.20 US$/Ib Cu and 3.00 US$/Ib after that
2 C1 cash costs means operating cash costs including mining, processing, geology, OHSE, site G&A, concentrate transport, TC and RC costs less by-product credits, divided by copper in concentrate produced (100% payable basis).
3 All-in sustaining cash costs are cash operating costs (C1 cash cost including royalties) plus sustaining capital.
Unless otherwise stated, all financial numbers are in US$ and based on 100% of the project and not subject to inflation or escalation factors. All years are calendar years. All cash costs are calculated on 100% payability basis. NPV and cashflow numbers quoted in this section include a US$21m capital contingency allowance.
Pre-Feasibility Study Summary
The T3 Open-Pit Mine Pre-Feasibility Study comprises open pit mining and conventional flotation processing with two production scenarios, the PFS Base Case and the PFS Expanded Case.
The PFS Base Case is based on a Proven and Probable Ore Reserve derived from Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources respectively. No Inferred Mineral Resource has been included in the estimation of Ore Reserves. The PFS has been prepared to an overall level of accuracy of ±25%.
The PFS Expansion Case assumes open pit mining and conventional flotation processing with a plant throughput of 2.5Mtpa for the first three years. The plant will then be upgraded to 4Mtpa throughput rate during Year 4. The first three years of production are based upon the processing of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources only. Thereafter the Expansion Case allows for processing of Inferred Mineral Resources in addition to the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources.
The PFS Expansion Case includes material that is in the Inferred Mineral Resource category. Inferred Mineral Resources represent approximately 34% of the Expansion Case Production Target by tonnage.
There is a low level of geological confidence associated with Inferred Mineral Resources and there is no certainty that in-fill drilling of the T3 deposit will result in confirmation of additional Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources or that the Expansion Case Production Target will be realised.
A substantial in-fill drilling program is in progress with the objective to upgrade Inferred Mineral Resources to Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource category.
The Expansion Case is based on a production target and material assumptions outlined elsewhere in this announcement.
1 Project Background
On 6 December 2016, nine months after the discovery of T3, MTR announced a favourable Scoping Study based upon the maiden resource at T3 comprising 28.36Mt grading 1.24% copper and 15.7g/t silver and a conventional copper concentrator processing ore at 2Mtpa.
On 24 August 2017 the company announced a Mineral Resource upgrade with the total at a 0.5% cut-off comprising 36Mt @ 1.14% Cu and 12.8g/t Ag. As a response to the growth in the Mineral Resource, the expected increase in the mineable inventory and the strength in the copper price since the Scoping Study was announced the PFS mining and process engineering studies were based upon a revised ore processing rate of 2.5 Mtpa, a 25% increase on the Scoping Study Production Target.
The process plant has been designed to allow for a future expansion up to 4.0 Mtpa in the event a decision is made to proceed with the Expansion Case. This expansion capacity also gives optionality in the event there are further upgrades to the T3 Mineral Resource.
In parallel with the PFS, infill and extensional drilling is in progress at T3 with the objective to upgrade existing Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated and Measured Mineral Resource categories. A revised Mineral Resource estimate is expected during Q2 2018. Drilling is also targeting deeper vein extensions to the East, West and North of the proposed T3 pit.
During 2016 MOD and Metal Tiger established Tshukudu Metals Limited, a Botswana based company in which all 18 joint venture exploration licences are held.
T3 is ideally located within 12km of the Ghanzi Highway in an area of freehold cattle farms. The JV has been advised by Botswana Power Corporation that grid power will be extended along the Ghanzi Highway from 2020.
PFS Expansion Case
On 3 October 2017 the JV announced that the PFS mining and process engineering studies were based upon a revised processing rate of 2.5 Mtpa, a 25% increase on the Scoping Study production target.
The process plant has been designed to allow for a possible future expansion up to 4.0 Mtpa. This expansion capacity gives optionality in the event that there are further upgrades to the T3 Mineral Resource and possible supplementary supply from the nearby T1 project.
As a consequence of the improving confidence in the long-term consensus copper price the company investigated the option of including Inferred Mineral Resources and applying grid power to the cut-off grade. Lowering the cut-off grade resulted in an increase in the Production Target tonnes (combined Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource categories). This increase in the potential Production Target was sufficient to consider a closer look at a plant expansion strategy.
The outcome of this work is referred to as the Expansion Case.
2 Pre-Feasibility Study Team
Mr Royce McAuslane, an independent consultant from Independent Metallurgical Operations, was the study manager. The pre-feasibility study uses information and assumptions provided by a range of independent Australian, Botswana and South African specialist consultants who have consented to the information used in the context in which it appears this announcement.
The following consultants contributed to the key components of the pre-feasibility study:
Table 2.1: PFS Consultants
Consultant Scope of Work Mr A I Pretorius (Sphynx Mining, South Africa) Resource Estimate Mr P Geddes (GoldFern Consulting, Australia) Mining Engineering Consultant Sound Mining Solution (Pty) Ltd (South Africa) Mining Study (Mine Design, Scheduling and Geotechnical) Independent Metallurgical Operations Pty Ltd (IMO) (Australia) Metallurgical Testwork Minnovo Pty Ltd (Australia) Process Engineering and Infrastructure Water Surveys Botswana (Pty) Ltd Borefield Testing and Modelling Knight Piésold (Botswana) Tailings, Waste Stockpiles, Site Water Management LOCI Environmental (Botswana) Environmental Karunya Efforts (Pty) Ltd trading as Karunya Consulting (Botswana) Stakeholder Engagement Social Permitting and Baseline Studies Rescology Environmental Consultants (Australia) Mine Closure Plan Ms Lizelle van Wyk Financial Model
PFS Base Case
Mining and process engineering studies for the PFS Base Case used a revised processing rate of 2.5 Mtpa, a 25% increase on the Scoping Study production target (announced 6 December 2017). This upgrade was in response to the growth in the T3 Mineral Resource estimate (announced 24 August 2017), the expected increase in the mineable inventory and the strength in the copper price since the Scoping Study was announced.
In the PFS Base Case the Ore Reserves are mined from a single, 4 stage open pit with a waste: ore ratio of 4.76. The optimized pit shell was modelled at US$2.91/lb Cu. Ore will be processed through a conventional SAG/Ball mill and flotation circuit, powered for the first two years by a diesel power generation plant before switching to grid power.
The PFS confirms that T3 is a robust, long life copper mine. It is a technically strong and financially viable project generating over US$530m in free cash flow over an initial 8.8-year plant life. The total initial development capital cost is US$155m, which includes project contingency of US$17m. All financial analysis was undertaken using an average copper price of US$3.20/lb in the 1st 2 years of production and US$3.00/lb after that.
The company today declared a maiden Ore Reserve of 218kt of contained copper and 7.1Moz of contained silver with Life of Mine average annual production of 23kt Cu and 690koz Ag.
The MOD and Metal Tiger boards have approved the commencement of a feasibility study early in 2018.
PFS Expansion Case
The Expansion Case considers mining and processing at a rate of 2.5 Mtpa for the first 3 years as per the PFS Base Case. The process plant will be upgraded to be able to process at a rate of 4.0Mtpa during the fourth year.
Mining will be from a single, 5 stage open pit with a waste: ore ratio of 4.28. The optimized pit was modelled as per the PFS Base Case except for the inclusion of Inferred Mineral Resources and the reduction in processing costs due to grid power. The T3 project will be able to commence operation as per the PFS Base Case and can operate in this manner for two years without adversely affecting the option to implement the Expansion Case.
Processing is through the PFS Base Case conventional SAG/Ball mill and flotation circuit for the first three years. The process plant will then be upgraded to process 4.0 Mtpa by the addition of: A scats crushing circuit; rougher concentrate regrind mill; rougher flotation cells; concentrate storage tank; and concentrate filter.
The Expansion Case gives excellent optionality at T3 in the event that the long-term copper price is above US3.00$/lb and that Inferred Mineral Resources are eventually confirmed.
4 Resource Estimate
MTR announced results of an upgraded T3 resource estimate on 24 August 2017 which was prepared by Sphynx Mining. The estimate has been re-presented using the 0.25% Cu cut-off as per Table 4.1 below.
The upgraded Mineral Resource at 0.5% Cu cut-off comprises a total 36Mt containing approximately 409kt of copper (~902Mlbs copper) and 14.79Moz of silver. At 0.25% Cu cut-off it comprises 50Mt containing approximately 461kt of copper (1,016Mlbs copper) and 17.0Moz of silver.
Table 4.1: T3 Upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate
JORC Category Cut-off Tonnes
Grade Contained Cu% Cu% Ag g/t Cu (Kt) Ag (Moz) Measured 0.25 10.290 1.15 11.59 154 3.83 0.5 8.954 1.27 12.50 113 3.60 1.0 6.548 1.45 13.58 95 2.86 1.5 2.179 1.90 17.91 41 1.25 Indicated 0.25 14.161 1.01 10.93 143 4.98 0.5 11.202 1.19 12.50 133 4.50 1.0 7.240 1.42 14.07 103 3.28 1.5 2.200 1.89 18.07 42 1.28 Inferred 0.25 25.620 0.76 9.98 195 8.22 0.5 15.810 1.03 13.09 162 6.65 1.0 6.786 1.42 16.59 96 3.62 1.5 2.108 1.91 20.66 40 1.40 TOTAL (Measured, Indicated & Inferred) 0.25 50.071 0.92 10.58 461 17.03 0.5 35.966 1.14 12.79 409 14.79 1.0 20.574 1.43 14.73 293 9.74 1.5 6.487 1.90 18.84 123 3.93
Note: rounding errors may be present
5 Metallurgical Testwork
PFS Base Case
The results from locked cycle flotation testwork of T3 sulphide ores was announced on 3 October 2017.
Minnovo prepared the scope of work for a comprehensive metallurgical testwork program aimed at optimising the metallurgical parameters for each of the T3 ore domains and to provide data to allow the establishment of process design criteria.
The metallurgical testwork was carried out by Independent Metallurgical Operations Pty Ltd.
Mineralised intervals were taken from 21 drill holes.
The drill holes were selected to yield testwork samples that represented each of the ore domains spatially, depth-wise and across a grade range that is likely to be presented to the processing plant. Mineralised intervals from the Geotechnical holes were also used for metallurgical testwork. A total of 22 individual samples were generated, 6 representing the chalcopyrite domain, 7 for the bornite domain and 6 for the chalcocite domain. A further 3 were used for a domain that was given the name “oxide / transition” and whilst metallurgical testwork was carried out on these samples they were not reported since it was subsequently determined that they will represent less than 1% of the Life of Mine feed to the process plant.
Master composites were prepared for each domain by sub-sampling each of the individual samples in such proportions as to yield composites close to the anticipated plant feed grade.
Optimisation testwork was carried out on each of the master composites to determine the optimum processing parameters. Locked cycle tests were then conducted on each composite sample using the optimum parameters. This was followed by batch, variability testing of each of the individual samples.
Locked cycle flotation testwork confirmed the excellent metallurgical response that was achieved in batch testwork that was carried out as part of the Scoping Study (announced on 6 December 2016).
The results demonstrated high concentrate grades, between 33% and 48% Cu, can be achieved at high recoveries, between 93.3% and 96.2% Cu, for all three copper sulphide domains (chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite) in disseminated and vein hosted mineralisation within the T3 resource. Silver recoveries were also very good (up to 92.2%) from samples of high-grade chalcocite ores.
Table 5.1: T3 Flotation Testwork Results
Domain Mass Copper Silver % Recovery % Recovery Conc Grade % % Recovery Conc Grade g/t Chalcopyrite 3.15 93.3 33.1 82.6 199 Bornite 3.15 96.2 43.6 92.2 668 Chalcocite 231 93.4 48.6 89.0 850
The concentrates were generally low in deleterious elements and below penalty levels for smelters, with the exception of As (chalcopyrite domain, 1870ppm), Bi (chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite domains 458ppm, 690ppm and 1331ppm respectively) and Pb (chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite domains 10132ppm, 20884ppm and 11067ppm respectively). The variability testwork that was conducted on 22 individual samples gave the following concentrate grade ranges, non-weighted mean assays and penalty levels for the deleterious elements that were notable:
Table 5.2: T3 Flotation Concentrate Penalty Elements
Element Grade Range, ppm Mean Grade Penalty Level, ppm As 30 to 7,907 910 2,000 Bi 26 to 2,440 748 500 Pb 245 to 8,2623 16,784 10,000
Future flotation testwork will consider penalty element rejection.
PFS Expansion Case
The PFS Base Case metallurgical testwork data was used for the Expansion Case. Minnovo carried out regression analyses of the variability testwork results so that recoveries could be estimated for different ore feed grades for each ore domain.
The recoveries used for the Expansion Case were 92.3% for copper and 85.8% for silver.
6 Mining Study
PFS Base Case
Sound Mining Solution (Pty) Ltd has conducted a pre-feasibility level study including geotechnical and pit optimisation, which has resulted in a mine design to meet ore feed requirements for the 2.5Mtpa flotation plant. The open pit design is based on the following parameters and assumptions:
- Consideration of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources only to generate Proved and Probable Ore Reserves
- A four-stage design to smooth waste stripping
- 10-month pre-strip to expose sustainable ore for 2.5 Mtpa processing
- PFS Base Case waste to ore of 4.76
- Conventional hydraulic excavators and rear dump trucks, and
- 10m blasted bench height, with most material requiring blasting
Pit optimisations have been performed using NPV Scheduler© software based on Mine Design Criteria (MDC) compiled in agreement with Sound Mining, Goldfern Consulting and MOD. The pit optimisations used a LOM copper price of US$2.91/lb.
A mining contractor will be used to carry out mining activities under the technical and managerial direction of the operator.
Overall pit slopes for the PFS Base Case are given in the table below. They assume moderately wet conditions.
Table 6.1: T3 Base Case Open Pit Overall Pit Slopes
Zone Base Case Pit Slope Weathered 30° to 37° Fresh 47° to 49°
PFS Expansion Case
Sound Mining Solution (Pty) Ltd has derived a conceptual mine design to meet feed requirements for the Expansion Case Ore Production Target.
Pit optimisations have been performed using NPV Scheduler© software based on Mine Design Criteria (MDC) compiled in agreement with Sound Mining, Goldfern Consultants and MOD. The pit optimisations used a copper price of US$2.91/lb.
The open pit design is based on the following parameters and assumptions:
- Consideration of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources to generate the Production Target
- Grid power available from Year 4 reducing processing costs and cut-off grade
- A five-stage pit design to smooth waste stripping
- 10-month pre-strip to expose sustainable ore for 2.5 Mtpa processing.
- PFS Expansion Case waste to ore ratio of 4.28.
- Conventional hydraulic excavators and rear dump trucks, and
- 10m blasted bench height, with most material requiring blasting
7 Ore Reserves
Sound Mining Solution (Pty) Ltd derived the maiden Ore Reserves in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, JORC Code 2012. GoldFern Consulting worked collaboratively with Sound Mining providing technical support.
Ore Reserves are presented in the following table. The Proved Ore Reserve is based on the Measured category of the Mineral Resource and the Probable Ore Reserve is based on the Indicated category of the Mineral Resource. None of the Inferred category of the Mineral Resource has been included in the Ore Reserves.
Table 7.1: T3 Open Pit Ore Reserve
Ore Reserve Category Tonnes
Copper Silver Grade (%) kt Grade (ppm) Moz Proved 8.78 1.13 98.95 11.1 3.14 Probable 12.65 0.94 118.64 9.7 3.93 Total Ore Reserve 21.43 1.02 217.59 10.3 7.07
The Ore Reserve was determined using the following parameters:
- Copper price of US$2.91/lb
- Silver price of US$16.81/oz.
- Cut-off grade of 0.34% Cu (before silver credit)
- Ore loss and dilution were applied to the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource model in a two-step process with the net effects of reducing grade above cut-off by 14% and increasing tonnage by 13%
- Metallurgical testwork recoveries were applied in accordance to the corresponding mineral domains
- Appropriate modifying factors were applied
All Material Assumptions for the T3 Open Pit Ore Reserve are given in JORC (20112 edition) Table 1 as set out in the MOD release of today.
8 Process Engineering
Perth-based engineering consultants Minnovo Pty Ltd has conducted a pre-feasibility level study including a review of processing options, which has resulted in a conceptual plant design for a 2.5Mtpa flotation plant and associated infrastructure constructed on site at T3. The proposed plant design is relatively simple and conventional, reflecting the favourable metallurgical characteristics of T3 ores.
The process plant and associated service facilities will process run-of-mine (ROM) ore at a rate of 2.5Mtpa, to produce a copper concentrate and tailings. The process consists of crushing and grinding of the ore followed by sequential rougher and cleaner flotation. Concentrate will be thickened, filtered and stockpiled prior to being loaded into 2 tonne bulk bags for storage and subsequent transport to third-party smelters. The flotation tailings will be dewatered by thickening and disposed of at the Tailings Storage Facility. The plant has potential to be up-scaled to around 4Mtpa in the event production is increased at T3 or additional ore is sourced from satellite deposits.
Based upon core logging data the Copper mineral proportions across the deposit are estimated to be 60:30:10 for Chalcopyrite, Bornite, Chalcocite respectively. On this basis and using metallurgical testwork data, recoveries are calculated to be 93.1% Cu and 86.2% Ag.
Life of Mine average metal in concentrate production is 23ktpa Cu and 690kozpa Ag.
Locked cycle metallurgical testwork confirms the potential to produce high-grade copper/silver concentrates, which are proposed to be stored on site and transported in 2 tonne bulk-bags.
PFS Expansion Case
Physical and metallurgical parameters that were generated in the PFS metallurgical testwork program were used to establish design criteria for the Expansion Case 4.0 Mtpa process plant.
The Base Case plant has been designed to allow sufficient room for the additional equipment that will be required to upgrade the plant. The additional equipment includes the following:
- A scats crushing circuit and rougher concentrate regrind mill to provide the additional comminution power necessary for the increase in plant throughput
- Additional rougher flotation cells to give the required flotation residence time
- Additional concentrate storage and filtration to handle the increase in concentrate production
It has been assumed that there will be no disruption to existing production during the installation of grid power and the plant upgrade.
9 Infrastructure and Services
To ensure there is adequate room for significant expansion and to provide space between adjacent farms, a 400m buffer zone has been included around the project site.
Water Supply and Hydrogeology
Water Surveys Botswana conducted a hydrogeological modelling specialist study at the planned T3 mine site.
Flow testing of 7 water boreholes (MO-G-WB01 to WB07) demonstrated the potential (subject to further testing) for a sustainable water supply to meet the needs of the process plant and related activities. Water analysis indicated that the water is low in Total Dissolved Solids, consequently there will be no adverse effects on ore processing. The water table and groundwater quality will be monitored throughout the mine life.
Contaminant transport modelling indicates that the risk of potential pollution from surface sources (e.g. TSF, process plant, waste stockpile) is minimal with modelled plumes traveling less than 150-325m from the source.
Tailings Storage Facility (TSF), Waste Stockpile and Site Water Management
Knight Piésold investigated several options in relation to the TSF and Waste Stockpile. The preferred option comprised a landform that integrates the TSF with the waste stockpile (Integrated Waste Landform). There is abundant gentle sloping room to allow for a significant increase in both tailings storage and waste stockpiling capacity.
Both the process tailings and waste have negative Nett Acid Producing Potential (NAPP). In addition to this the mine area is capped by a 3-5m thick layer of calcrete.
The TSF will be lined with a HDPE membrane.
Water diversion channels will be constructed around the mine and process plant. These will be directed to storage areas / silt traps to mitigate contaminant transport.
Mine Closure Plan
A conceptual mine closure plan was carried out by Rescology. The aim is to commence rehabilitation practices as early as practicable and integrate closure planning into all phases of the project life cycle with due consideration to stakeholder engagement, optimal final landform design and progressive rehabilitation. Consideration of water run-off and topsoil stability will be given to the design of the Integrated Waste Landform.
Allowance is made for on-site diesel power generation with a total installed capacity of 14.1MW. The JV has been advised by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the government owner entity responsible for grid power generation and transmission in Botswana, that grid power will be extended along the Ghanzi Highway, 12km from site, from 2020. It is understood that contracts for the first stages of the transmission line have been awarded and procurement is underway.
Allowance has been made to connect the site to grid power in 2022 with the commensurate reduction in unit power costs.
All personnel will be based in the town of Ghanzi ~80km west of T3 along the sealed A3 Highway. The JV has commenced construction of an accommodation village and operations base in Ghanzi.
A 12km graded road will run from the A3 highway to the mine site.
PFS Expansion Case
Adequate land area is available to allow for the increase in both the waste stockpile and TSF footprints.
It is assumed that grid power will be available at T3 at the time the Expansion Case is implemented.
Additional water bore testing is required to confirm if there is an adequate sustainable supply of water at the T3 site. Contaminant transport modelling will need to be reviewed for the Expansion Case.
10 Environmental and Social Permitting
Pre-feasibility level studies were carried out by LOCI Environmental (with assistance from Karunya Consulting, an independent environmental and social consultant) to advance the environmental and social permitting requirements of the T3 Project. In order to bring the T3 project into production an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be required and it is intended that this will comply with the Equator Principles and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards.
The studies completed during the PFS included the following:
- Baseline flora and fauna surveys (wet and dry season)
- Archaeological impact assessment
- Stakeholder engagement planning and policy
- Stakeholder meetings
- Formal commencement of the EIA process in December 2017
11 Capital Expenditure
The accuracy of the estimate is ±25%.
Table 11.1: Base Case Capital Cost Estimate Summary
Detailed Capital Costs PFS Base Case (U$’000) Mining – Establishment 4,500 Process Plant 60,985 Tailings Storage 8,733 Infrastructure 18,823 Contingency 17,098 Corporate and Owners 10,985 Mining Pre-strip Costs 33,733 Initial Development Capital 154,859
PFS Expansion Case
Table 11.2: Expansion Case Capital Cost Estimate Summary
Detailed Capital Costs US$M Mining - Establishment 4,500 Process Plant 1 60,985 Tailings Storage 8,733 Infrastructure 18,823 Contingency 17,098 Corporate and Owners 10,985 Mining Pre-strip Costs 35,123 Initial Development Capital 163,151 Plant Expansion from 2.5 mtpa to 4.0 mtpa 35,352 Development Capital 191,601
1 Includes US$ 6.9m to provide flexibility to increase plant throughput from 2.5Mtpa to 4.0Mtpa
12 Operating Expenditure
The accuracy of the estimate is ±25%.
Table 12.1: Operating Cost Estimate Summary (US$/lb Cu)
Cost item Base Case
Mining Costs 0.64 0.76 Power Cost 0.14 0.15 Processing Cost 0.22 0.22 Site Administration 0.12 0.09 Logistics 0.17 0.17 Treatment and Refining Charges 0.16 0.16 C1 Cost (pre- by-product credit) 1.45 1.54 Silver By-Product Credit (0.23) (0.24) C1 Cost (post by product credit) 1.22 1.30 Royalties 0.07 0.08 Total Cash Production Costs (C2) 1.29 1.38 Depreciation and Amortisation 0.07 0.08 All in Sustaining Costs 1.36 1.46 Unit Revenue (Net of payability) 2.93 2.91 C1 Margin (post by product credit) 1.71 1.61
Table 12.2: Operating Cost Estimate Summary (US$/Tonne of Ore Mined)
Cost Item Base Case
Mining Costs 13.3 13.3 Power Cost 2.9 2.6 Processing Cost 4.6 3.8 Site Administration 2.4 1.7 Logistics 3.6 2.9 Treatment and Refining Charges 3.3 2.7 C1 Cost (pre- by-product credit) 30.1 27.0
13 Sensitivity Analysis in US$m
The following table demonstrates the sensitivity of the pre-tax NPV8% to copper price, silver price and operating costs. It is considered that the range of sensitivities presented below are a reasonable basis for a PFS level study. The NPV is most sensitive to copper price, copper grade and copper recovery.
Table 13.1: Base Case Operating Cost Estimate Summary (US$/Tonne of Ore)
-25% -20% -15% -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Cu Price 78 119 159 200 240 281 322 362 403 443 484 Op Cost 393 371 348 326 304 281 259 236 214 191 169 Cap Cost 326 317 308 299 298 281 272 263 253 244 235 Cu Ore Grade 101 137 173 209 245 281 317 353 389 425 461 Recovery 101 137 173 209 245 281 317 Ag Price 266 269 272 275 278 281 284 287 290 293 296
PFS Expansion Case
The following table demonstrates the sensitivity of the pre-tax US$ NPV8% to key financial drivers. The NPV is most sensitive to copper price, copper grade and copper recovery.
Table 13.2: Expansion Case Operating Cost Estimate Summary (US$/Tonne of Ore)
-25% -20% -15% -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Cu Price 114 172 229 287 345 402 460 518 575 633 691 Op Cost 569 536 502 469 436 402 369 336 302 269 236 Cap Cost 457 446 435 424 413 402 391 380 369 358 346 Cu Ore Grade 146 197 248 300 351 402 454 505 556 608 659 Recovery 146 197 248 300 351 402 454 Ag Price 379 384 388 393 398 402 407 412 416 421 426
14 Next Steps
- Commence FS Q1 2018
- T3 open pit resource update Q2 2018
- Conduct further hydrological testing and modelling in area surrounding T3
- Conduct further geotechnical testing in area of planned pit
- Firm up process plant design criteria via additional metallurgical testwork
15 Preliminary Schedule
The following preliminary schedule is subject to available funding, positive outcomes for the FS and favourable timelines for permitting;
Milestone Target Timeline Commence FS Q1 2018 Completion of FS Q4 2018 EIA Approvals Q4 2018 Decision to Mine Q4 2018
Background information on the T3 Project
The T3 Project is located on the Kalahari Copper Belt in northern Botswana and is part of the MOD/MTR joint venture Botswana Copper/Silver Project. T3 is located within the central part of the T3 Dome (approximately 1,000km2), which is the focus of rapidly increasing exploration activity undertaken by the JV. Two significant resources have been discovered to date within the T3 Dome: T1 (Mahumo deposit 100% MOD) and T3 (70% MOD / 30% MTR).
The T3 Deposit was discovered in March 2016 when a reverse circulation (“RC”) drill hole intersected 52m @ 2.0% Cu and 32g/t Ag from shallow depth. The maiden T3 JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource was announced on 26 September 2016 with the first Resource upgrade announced on 24 August 2017. The results of a Scoping Study for an open pit mine at T3 with a 2Mtpa processing plant, an indicative mine life of 10 years and an average production rate of 21,800tpa of copper and 665,000oz pa of silver was released on 6 December 2016. Work on a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) commenced in January 2017 and additional deeper copper mineralisation was discovered below the T3 Resource in February 2017.
The T3 Prospect geological data and exploration results have been reviewed and approved by Jacques Janse van Rensburg, BSc.(Hons), Business Development Manager and Competent Person for MOD Resources Ltd. Mineral Resource estimation and classification of the T3 Copper/Silver Project was conducted and approved by Mr A.I. Pretorius, MSc. Pri.Sci.Nat. an independent consultant to MOD Resources Ltd.
The Phase 2 drilling at the T3 Copper/Silver Deposit commenced on 7th August 2017, with approval granted for the recommencement of both diamond core (DC) and reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the T3 Project and its vicinity, through to December 2018. This includes up to 70 planned diamond core drill holes designed to infill the current Resource and test for possible extensions. The objective of the infill program is to increase geological confidence and upgrade categorisation of the T3 Resource. The programme also includes grid drilling to investigate the potential for an underground Resource down-dip and along strike from the planned open-pit, and to investigate geophysical targets.
The results of the T3 Open Pit Pre-Feasibility Study were announced on 31st January 2018, there results of which are set out in the main body of this announcement.
Competent Person’s Statement
The information in this announcement that relates to Mineral Resource estimation and classification of the T3 Copper/Silver Project was conducted and approved by Mr A.I. Pretorius, MSc. Pri.Sci.Nat. Mr Pretorius is an independent consultant to MOD Resources Ltd and a member of the South African Council for Scientific Professionals (SACNASP Membership Number 400060/91). Mr Pretorius has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Pretorius consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this announcement that relates to Geological Data and Exploration Results at the Botswana Copper/Silver Project which includes T3 is reviewed and approved by Jacques Janse van Rensburg, BSc (Hons), Business Development Manager (Africa) for MOD Resources Ltd. He is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) No. 400101/05 and has reviewed the technical information in this report. Mr Janse van Rensburg has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and the activity, which it is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mr Janse van Rensburg consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on information in the form and context in which it appears.
The Reserves Competent Person is Mr Graham Stripp, who is a full-time employee of Sound Mining Solution. He is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Stripp visited the T3 site twice, most recently in November 2017. Mr Stripp has sufficient experience that is relevant to the type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Stripp consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The Competent Person responsible for the interpretation of the metallurgical test work results from the T3 Copper/Silver Project is Mr Daryl Evans, who is a full-time employee of Independent Metallurgical Operations and a fellow of AusIMM. Mr Evans has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Evans consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The technical information contained in this disclosure has been read and approved by Mr Nick O'Reilly (MSc, DIC, MAusIMM, FGS), who is a qualified geologist who acts as the Competent Person under the AIM Rules - Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Mr O'Reilly has visited the T3 site and reviewed MOD’s drilling and sampling protocols and procedures. Mr O'Reilly is a Principal consultant working for Mining Analyst Consulting Ltd which has been retained by Metal Tiger PLC to provide technical support.
In addition to its 30% interest in the JV, Metal Tiger holds 108,200,000 MOD shares, equivalent to 5.71% of MOD’s issued share capital and 1,541,667 MOD options each exercisable price of 6 cents (Australian) on or before 15 April 2019.
For further information on the Company, visit: www.metaltigerplc.com:
Michael McNeilly (Chief Executive Officer) Tel: +44(0)20 7099 0738 Keith Springall (Finance Director & Company Secretary) Tel: +44 (0)20 7099 0738 Stephen Allen or Bhavesh Patel RFC Ambrian Ltd
Tel +44 (0)20 3440 6800 Jonathan Williams RFC Ambrian Ltd
Tel +44 (0)20 3440 6800 Nick Emerson SI Capital
Tel: +44 (0)1483 413 500 Rita Adiani NRG Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 4504 Gordon Poole
Tel: +44 (0)20 3757 4980
Notes to Editors:
Metal Tiger plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM Market (“AIM”) with the trading code MTR and invests in high potential mineral projects with a precious and strategic metals focus.
The Company’s target is to deliver a very high return for shareholders by investing in significantly undervalued and/or high potential opportunities in the mineral exploration and development sector timed to coincide, where possible, with a cyclical recovery in the exploration and mining markets. The Company’s key strategic objective is to ensure the distribution to shareholders of major returns achieved from disposals.
Metal Tiger’s Metal Projects Division is focused on the development of its key project interests in Botswana, Spain and Thailand. In Botswana, Metal Tiger has a growing interest in the large and highly prospective Kalahari copper/silver belt. In Spain, the Company has tungsten and gold interests in the highly-mineralised Extremadura region. In Thailand, Metal Tiger has interests in two potentially near-production stage silver/lead/zinc mines as well as licences, applications and critical historical data covering antimony, copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc opportunities.
The Company has access to a diverse pipeline of new opportunities focused on the natural resource sector including physical resource projects, new natural resource centred technologies and resource sector related fintech opportunities. Pipeline projects deemed commercially viable may be undertaken by Metal Tiger or by an AIM or NEX Exchange (formerly ISDX) partner with whom the Company is engaged.