HomeFeatures & AnalysisKasbah Resources: attractive DFS economics for small-scale project start-up

Kasbah Resources: attractive DFS economics for small-scale project start-up

Morocco – The DFS is specifically for the Small Start Option (SSO) at the Achmmach tin project which has determined that a 0.5 Mtpa, high grade underground operation is technically and commercially feasible.

In the process of being acquired by Asian Mineral Resources, Kasbah Resources’ previous DFS envisaged a 1 Mtpa underground mine and processing facility for Achmmach. This large scale, capital intensive project required construction capital of approximately US$131 million to establish and in a weak financing, commodity and equity market, the capital requirement was a significant impost to project development.

To address these issues and the continued fall in the LME tin price during 2015, Kasbah commenced investigation into a lower cost development model.

The Achmmach SSO DFS is premised upon a hard rock underground tin mine with a ten year life that is developed in two stages. Stage 1 production initially commences at 0.5 Mtpa for 42 months then is expanded in Stage 2 to 0.75 Mtpa for 80 months (the remainder of the mine life).

This staged approach utilises contract mining, contract crushing and modular plant design and unlike the 1 Mtpa scale where the full capacity was installed upfront, the SSO offers greater operational flexibility.

The Achmmach SSO DFS incorporates a simplified, modern mine design – utilising an experienced underground mining contractor with long hole open stoping and crushed rock fill as the primary mining method. It also uses contract mining and crushing, thereby reducing project construction capital while accelerating project ramp up by utilising experienced third parties to provide these services.

It also offers increased metallurgical recovery – higher run of mine grades in Stage 1 facilitates metallurgical recoveries of 73.4% which enhances cash flow in the crucial first years of production.

A modular plant design reduces processing capital, operating power requirements, construction complexity and field installation costs; and reduction in surface infrastructure.

Exploration and upside

While the DFS is based solely upon the Achmmach ore reserve, exploration upside and mine life extension at Achmmach is probable from repetition of deeper targets within the main 1.6 km long Meknes Trend and the parallel, 1.6km long Sidi Addi Trend.

Corporate transaction

The acquisition with Asian Mineral Resources provides greater flexibility in relation to project financing.