The capital cost of the stage 1 design is estimated at A$2.5 million and both capital and operating costs are expected to be covered by revenue generated from sales of tin concentrate produced at current tin prices. An optimisation of the ore reserve estimated that 333,000 tonnes of ore at a grade of 0.24% was extractable via an open pit design, at a low stripping ratio of 0.22:1. The trial mining will take place over a 12 month period and the ore will be processed on site using modular equipment. The company said that is in discussions with a global trading house to purchase the concentrate ex‐mine gate.
The stage 1 development will allow the collection of key resource reconciliation and metallurgical data that can be utilised in the final mine design and thus advance the development of the final stage tin mining operation. Suitable bulk samples will also be collected to allow metallurgical test work on potential recoveries of the copper, silver, tungsten and molybdenum by-products. Exploration targets which could provide supplementary feed for the pilot plant will also be evaluated.
Chief Executive Officer, Peter Williams said “The program will provide an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate areas of upside whilst obtaining real data for inclusion in the final design. The fact that the Stage 1 development is expected to be at least cash flow neutral is a good outcome, and will enable us to advance the development of the Taronga Tin Project into a world class tin producer”.