AIM-listed North River Resources has announced the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its brownfield Namib lead zinc silver mine (NLZM) in Namibia.
The DFS confirms that the project is technically low risk and economically robust. There is a strong post-tax IRR which is >50% over the life of mine. Furthermore the short payback period justifies the development of the project.
Mine life expectancy
The initial mine life is projected at 3.5 years However following a successful drilling programme, total underground resources are projected at 1.25 million tonnes, equivalent to a five year life of the mine. Further underground drilling continues to progress well, with a regional exploration programme due to start soon. North River believes NLZM will, in due course, support a significantly longer mine life.
North River MD Martin French says: “The study has gone through an exhaustive process and the project economics are strong. From known geology, there are good indications that the mine life may be extended, while many deeper and near-mine regional areas have yet to be explored. Underground drilling continues and a near-mine exploration programme is planned to commence next year.”
Infrastructure in place
While the mine-life is short, so is the pay-back, as much of the major infrastructure is already in place at NLZM.
NLZM has well-established infrastructure:
- A 22kV power line extends to the mine site
- An 8km all-weather access road extends from the Trans Kalahari highway to the mine site
- Water supply will come from the pre-existing take-off point of the pipeline administered by the Namwater
- A 7.5km HDP (high density polyethylene) pipeline is to be installed to replace the historic line.
- A tailings dam has also been constructed to support a six to seven year mine life
- Namibia’s largest port of Walvis Bay is located 70km from the site.
- Services and suppliers are well established in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, reducing the requirement for reliance on other nearby countries.