Cominco Resources has completed the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Hinda Phosphate Project. The Project comprises a world-class, JORC compliant phosphate Reserve of 404.9 Mt grading 11% P2O5 with a 24 year Life of Mine, for 4.1Mt of high grade, 32% P2O5 per year.
Operating costs over the first five years are $36.6 per tonne of Ore, placing the Project in the lowest quartile of cash cost producers. The Project development cost totals $601M and includes all necessary services and infrastructure to build and commission the Project. Capital repayment is expected within 26 months. The Project mine site is located only 40km from the Atlantic Coast and the port city of Pointe-Noire. Accessibility and infrastructure are excellent with a dual lane, tarmac highway within 15km of the mine site, high voltage power lines within 15 km of the beneficiation plant and West Africa’s largest container port at Pointe-Noire, as well as an international airport with daily flights to Europe and South Africa.
Bulk, strip mining of the Ore, which is entirely free digging, will be at an average rate of 20 Mt of Ore a year. The Ore will be crushed in pit before being conveyed to a beneficiation plant by overland conveyor. The design allows for secondary crushing, followed by removal of barren material by rejecting the coarse and very fine material. The following grinding and flotation stages only treat around 9 Mt a year at a steady 19% P2O5. Two-stage reverse flotation produces a high quality, 32% phosphate rock. The Phosrock concentrate is transferred to the Project’s port facility by slurry pipeline where the product is dewatered, dried and stored before loading from a trestle jetty and ship loader.
The Project has been subject to a 929 hole drilling campaign by Cominco to support the Mineral Reserve and Resource as well as geotechnical, hydrogeological and other development needs.
The DFS was coordinated and managed by Ausenco who had responsibility for the metallurgical test work, design and costing of the beneficiation plant, slurry pipeline, port site and ship loading facilities. SRK (UK) provided the JORC Compliant Ore Reserve Statement, mine design and schedules and mine capital and operating cost estimates, along with all other pit related technical studies.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, managed by WSP, to World Bank, Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards was completed in May 2016.
The mining license application was lodged with Congolese authorities in October 2014 and was granted on 7 December 2015.