Starter Project

Starter Project
Project map

Starter Project

Pre-Feasibility Study (900 ktpa Starter Project) (completed Q1 2016)

Cominco Resources completed a PFS into the production and export of approximately 900 kt/y of Phosrock product from weathered, de-carbonated surface Ore for up to 12 years. 

The starter project features a simple wash plant with off-the-shelf equipment Capital and cash cost estimate +/- 15% accuracy.

As the name implies, the Starter Project is envisaged to be a precursor to the full mining and 4.1 Mt/y development that is described in the Hinda Definitive Feasibility Study (Hinda DFS) published in June 2015.
The prime objective of the Starter Project is to generate an early cash flow that will provide funding for a future major development of the Hinda phosphate Resource. It is planned to bring the Project into production on a ‘fast-track’ basis and target commissioning in the second half of 2016.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Project will focus on the mining and processing of the heavily weathered fluorapatite Ore, the so-called Bm Ore, that forms a discrete near surface zone of the orebody.

The November 2015 MRE by CSA Global gives a Resource of 28.4 Mt @ 16.6% P2O5 of oxidized Ore, called Bm, across the 20km strike. By focusing on selective high-grade zones of Bm, primarily in the South, a Run-of-Mine (RoM) head grade of 20% P2O5 can be achieved. This ROM can readily be upgraded to a saleable target product grade of >30% P2O5 by a simple process of crushing, screening and washing. The Bm is already depleted in MgO by weathering and therefore only requires physical screening in a processing plant.
Whilst the crushing and screening requirements are similar, Gm Ore requires the addition of grinding and a froth floatation stage to remove MgO and SiO2. The treatment of Bm Ore has a number of other advantages with respect to the mining operation and the process service requirements.

The facilities required for the Starter Project can be put in place rapidly and at a low capital cost using “off the shelf” plant fabricated offshore. It is proposed to install the Process Plant in the Southern end of the deposit in close proximity to the mine. The dewatered Phosrock concentrate will be transported to the coast using contract haulage and exported through the existing port facility at Pointe Noire. Power to the Hinda plant and services will be provided by on site generators. By contrast, the DFS Project has a relatively large capex requirement for a grinding and float plant, product slurry pipeline, and new storage and shiploading facilities.