Terramin, through its subsidiary, Western Mediterranean Zinc Spa, has completed an updated DFS for the development of the Tala Hamza-Amizour zinc and lead project in northern Algeria.
The updated DFS covers a zinc and lead deposit in the area of the Oued Amizour Mining Exploration Permit 6911 (PEM 6911), an area of 122.76 km2 held by WMZ.
Exploration Permit 6911 expired 31 January 2018 and is expected to be superseded by the Mining Licence (ML).
Although discussions have been active and ongoing, until the ML is approved there can be no assurance that the project will be endorsed by the Algerian government.
The 2018 DFS contains a number of changes to the 2010 DFS undertaken to eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level, environmental and social concerns with the block cave mining method.
The changes include optimisation of previous studies, updating the Ore Reserve, revised plant layout, removal of the tailings storage facility and replacement with dry stacking, and updated economic analysis.
The changes proposed by WMZ to achieve this include changing the mining and tailings disposal methods.
The new mining method, Underhand Drift and Fill (UDF) is a small scale, selective mining method which has a higher associated mining operating cost compared to the original block cave mining method.
The adoption of the new mining method increased the mine cut-off grade and reduced mining dilution, overall resulting in a net reduction in minable ore tonnes over the life of mine (LoM).
Updated flowsheets, capital and operating costs, completed in conjunction with engineering company China ENFI Engineering Corp (ENFI), confirm the viability of an underground operation with a 1.4 million tonne per annum capacity process plant, which can deliver an average of 129,300 tpa of zinc concentrate at 54% Zn and 26,000 tpa of lead concentrate at 63% Pb, at an average C1-cash cost of US$0.53c/lb and All-in Sustaining Cost of US$0.61/lb.
Based on the positive Definitive Feasibility Study results and expansion potential, Terramin is progressing further optimisation studies and permitting in calendar 2018.
This should allow the base case project to proceed in conjunction with studies into expansion cases.
“Terramin is excited to be able to release details of the Tala Hamza revised DFS,” said Terramin Australia CEO Richard Taylor, speaking at the Paydirt’s ‘Africa Down Under’ Conference.
“The result is the outcome of steady and patient negotiation with our joint-venture partners. It was important to engage and work consistently with our counterparts to ensure a robust long-life project that will be a flagship project in Algeria.
“Location is everything with Tala Hamza, proximity to deep water Mediterranean ports, well developed infrastructure, cheap and reliable energy and an educated workforce makes this a potential world class project.
“Getting the base case project at Tala Hamza permitted opens up optionality for expansion and exploration both within the existing exploration area and further afield in a highly prospective emerging mining country which is looking to diversify from oil and gas,” he added.