Project History

Project History
Project map

Project History

  • Q3 2015 Front End Engineering planning and implementation underway.
  • Q2 2015 Definitive Feasibility Study Complete.
    • JORC Compliant Ore Reserve of 404.9Mt P2O5 grading 11% P2O5, by SRK (UK)
    • NPV10 After Tax of US$1.87 billion
    • Ungeared After Tax IRR of 38%
    • Capital cost of US$601M
    • Cash cost (average of first five years) of $36.6t FOB and in lowest industry quartile
    • 26 month payback of development cost
    • World Bank – IFC compliant ESIA to be complete by September 2015
    • Mining licence application submitted and will be granted shortly
  • 2014 DFS Programme Initiated.
    • 45 tonne representative bulk sample drilled acquired by drilling large diameter 200mm diamond core (1,197m) across Ore body for Pilot Process Test work;
    • On going hydrogeological and geotechnical drilling programmes to support engineering of plant, infrastructure and port sites;
    • Q4 ESIA Baseline Studies started by WSP (on going throughout 2014) Geotechnical drilling underway across mine, plant, port and logistics.
  • Q3 2013 APFS Completed, completed by Bateman Advanced Technologies (Process), Coffey Mining (Mine Plan), SLR (Hydrology, hydrogeology), Ausenco PSI (Pipeline), PRDW (Jetty);
    • Extensive Metallurgical Test work including variability tests undertaken by BAT;
    • Q2 JORC Compliant MRE Upgrade totals 533Mt (all Measured & Indicated categories);
  • 2013 APFS Published & DFS Programme Initiated
    • Q1/2 Diamond Core Drilling, 2,489 m completing Resource drilling for study purposes;
    • Extensive Metallurgical Test work including variability tests undertaken by BAT;
    • Q2 JORC Compliant MRE Upgrade totals 533Mt (all Measured & Indicated categories);
    • Q3, Diamond Core Drilling, 4,588m, focus becomes engineering led with geotechnical, hydrogeological and metallurgical focus;
    • November, Advanced Pre Feasibility Study completed by Bateman Advanced Technologies (Process), Coffey Mining (Mine Plan), SLR (Hydrology, hydrogeology), Ausenco PSI (Pipeline), PRDW (Jetty);
    • Maiden Minable Ore Reserve (JORC 2012) totals 432.8Mt @ 10.5% P2O5;
    • Q4 DFS Study initiated: 55 tonne representative bulk sample acquired by drilling large diameter 200mm diamond core (1,197m) across Orebody for Pilot Process Test work;
    • Q4 ESIA Baseline Studies started by WSP (on going throughout 2014) Geotechnical drilling underway across mine, plant, port and logistics
  • 2012 Scoping Study Publication and initiation of APFS

    • Q1 R/C Exploration Drilling, 12,396m
    • Q2 Updated JORC Compliant MRE, 454Mt @11.5% P2O5 (CSA Global)
    • Q2/3 Exploration R/C Drilling, 23,500m, Diamond Core Drilling, 3,114m
    • August, Scoping Study publication (Kemworks Engineering, Coffey Mining, Jacobs Engineering, Ausenco PSI, EGIS International & SLR)
    • Q3/4, 4,123m of Diamond Core drilling
    • Q4 Updated JORC Compliant MRE, and Maiden Measured Resource with giving a total Resource of 531.1Mt @ 11.1% P2O5
  • 2011 Resource drilling initiated & publication of maiden Mineral Resource Estimate

    • Q1 R/C Exploration Drilling, 10,017metres at 400m x 100m grid
    • Q2 JORC compliant Maiden MRE, 127Mt@13% P2O5 (CSA Global)
    • Q2 R/C Exploration Drilling, 8,813 metres, establishing continuity over 20km
    • Q3 HQ3 Diamond Drilling Core, 1,029m, R/C Exploration, 11,050m
    • Hi resolution photography and LiDAR survey over 67km2 flown for digital terrain mapping and land use survey.
  • 2010 Multidisciplinary Exploration Fieldwork including:

    • 465 channel samples for multi-element geochemical analysis
    • Ground-based gamma-ray scintillometery, alpha-cup surveys (radon detectors), soil gas hydrocarbon analysis, soil sampling
    • 2,907km heliborne aeromagnetic and radiometric survey
    • Structural interpretation of LANDSAT and ICONOS data

Project Tracker

When Cominco arrived in ROC, nine small phosphate prospects were known to occur within the license in a graben running north-west to south-east. These deposits were last explored by the Soviet in the 1960s. Cominco’s exploration fieldwork established for the first time that the phosphate deposit was in fact continuous along strike, under soil cover for at least 100km, identifying the possibility of a world class phosphate deposit.

Cominco continued field investigations on its license areas in 2010, with remote sensing, soil geochemical, digital terrain modeling, channel sampling and airborne radiometrics and aeromagnetic surveys delivering an extensive drilling target and triggering mobilization of an exploration drill rig.

Exploration drilling started in early 2011, using non-hammer reverse circulation “RC” drilling with diamond core twinning of a sub set for verification of results. Exploration drilling culminated in the November 2013 MRE, based on resource drilling to May 2013, which consisted of 557 drill holes for 45,095 meters of drilling of which 512 holes were RC and 87, diamond core. Drilling was completed on a nominal 400m N-S and 100m E-W spacing with some infill drilling 200m N-S and 50m E-W, including a geostatistical cross at 25m N-S and 10m E-W.

A multi-disciplinary team completed the Hinda Scoping Study in August 2012. The Study considered a base case of a 4Mtpa phosphate rock mine with an option to develop an integrated Fertiliser plant producing 1 million tonnes per annum of di-ammonium phosphate “DAP”. Consultants included KemWorks Technology for process design, Jacobs Engineering on metallurgical testwork, Coffey Mining on mine engineering, SLR on hydrology and hydrogeology, CSA Global covering MRE, Ausenco PSI on pipeline studies and EGIS International on port facilities.

The Advanced Pre Feasibility Study started in September 2012 and was published in November 2013. Exploration and resource drilling was completed by May 2013. Drilling activities then focused on detailed technical aspects of the project for engineering and design. Extensive geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling programmes covered mine, plant, port and logistics areas.

Tenova Bateman Technologies (Israel) led the APFS, with responsibility for process design, metallurgy and port facilities. Ausenco were responsible for the slurry pipeline, Coffey Mining studied mine design and geotechnical aspects, SLR (South Africa), hydrology and hydrogeology and the related baseline studies. WSP (then Genivar), prepared the Terms of Reference in preparation for ESIA baseline studies.

The DFS programme, initiated in November 2013 is lead by Ausenco with responsibility for process, plant and infrastructure design whilst SRK (UK) are responsible for mine and pit related studies.

The DFS programme began with bulk sample drilling for pilot process testwork in Q4 2013 and finished in Q2 2015. Baseline studies were initiated to cover multi season and time variable dependent events. Geophysical programmes over mine site, plant, port and access corridors using both electrical resistivity tomography and seismic tomography with surface wave multi channel analysis had been used to guide and correlate with geotechnical drilling programmes. Geotechnical drilling had seen vibrating wireline piezometers inserted in cased boreholes to investigate pit floor heave with SPT tests and undisturbed core samples recovered for testwork.

A total of nine, 8” pumping bores plus over twenty surrounding monitoring bores were in place to develop a sophisticated hydrogeological model to assist with site wide water management.

55 tonnes of mineral sample were drilled from October 2013 to January 2014 to provide sample for pilot process testwork in Mintek, Johannesburg. The ore was shipped to South Africa in four, 12 metre shipping containers from Pointe Noire harbour, a fifteen day sailing route to Cape Town, South Africa.

The Pilot Process Testwork finished in Q4 2014.