Baobab phosphate project. Image supplied by Avenira.

ASX-listed phosphate developer Avenira has appointed engineering consultancy Wood  as its lead engineering contractor on the bankable feasibility study currently underway at its 80%-owned Baobab phosphate project in Senegal.

SenegalWood, formerly known as Amec Foster Wheeler, will have a lead role in completing the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the targeted 1 Mtpa nameplate capacity expansion and upgrade of the existing beneficiation plant at the Gadde Bissik mine. The BFS WILL build on the conceptual study conducted by Hatch in 2017, and on the experience accumulated during the actual mining activities on site since 2016.

“Wood bring a first class mining and processing team to the Gadde Bissik expansion and upgrade investment project,” says  Avenira MD and CEO Louis Calvarin.

The objective of the BFS is to provide a definitive design basis for detailed engineering and construction management, for a plant producing high quality phosphate rock concentrates with a nominal capacity of 1 Mtpa of concentrate. The scope of the BFS includes mining, processing and tailings storage.

Wood will develop operating and capital cost estimates to approximately 10% accuracy. This will also provide for detailed economic modelling to assist in raising funds to advance the project into commercial production.

The BFS will follow a two-stage approach. Phase 1 is a feasibility study to deliver an AACE Class 4 cost estimate and is projected to be completed by early July 2018. Phase 2 will deliver a BFS including an AACE Class 3 cost estimate and is projected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Baobab project at a glance

During the 2017 calendar year, Avenira established its strategic plan for its flagship Baobab phosphate project, focused first on a major expansion and upgrade of the beneficiation plant at Baobab’s Gadde Bissik mine to bring it to a profitable operational higher level, and subsequently on implementing next-step investments towards its longer-term objective of downstream integration.