Senegal – ASX-listed phosphates explorer and project developer Minemakers has commenced mining at the Baobab phosphate project in the Republic of Senegal on 12 November 2015, with first production targeted for the second half of 2016.

The Baobab phosphate project is located in the Republic of Senegal
The Baobab phosphate project is located in the Republic of Senegal

Internal assessments have been prepared which have enabled the fast-tracking of the decision to commence mining without the associated cost and time delay involved in completing a more formal feasibility study.

Minemakers says that the external expert consultants were used where required in support of the assessment, in particular in areas of mining and processing. The sedimentary mineralisation and the simple flow sheet result in a low capital expenditure project that can be committed to sequentially.

The major capital expenditure items are water drilling, overburden removal and the cost of the modular wet screening plant, with total capex approximately US$15 million before production commences.

Assuming completion of the recently announced Mimran placement and investment in the project worth A$28 million, the project is fully funded to production.

The decision to commence mining will allow the company to initiate water drilling and place orders for the wet screening plant so as not to delay the timeline to be in production in the second half of 2016.

Under the Merger Implementation Agreement with Baobab Partners, the decision to commence mining results in:

  • the conversion of 40 million Class A contingent share rights held by Baobab Partners into 40 million fully paid ordinary shares in the Company; and
  • the appointment of Mr Farouk Chaouni to the board of Minemakers with effect from 19 November, 2015

“Over the past almost two years, Minemakers has systematically accumulated sound knowledge on the project, ranging from geology through to infrastructure and logistics After securing all the required approvals, we are now in a position to move forward in a manner we believe to be prudent to commence water drilling and securing long-lead time capital items,” says Minemakers MD Cliff Lawrenson.

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