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The capex comes to $154 million while operating costs are estimated at $231 per tonne of concentrate for an average 131,000 tonnes a year over a 14-year lifespan.
[Country risk actually works out to be] positive for the Canadian-based junior companies. One of their selling points is having a stable, friendly country to build a new mine.—Industrial Minerals writer Simon Moores
Not surprisingly, the figures have grown since the original pre-feas of May 2011, which set a capex of $98 million and operating costs at $208. But annual production estimates are about 7.5% above the 2011 projections.
The base case price estimate assumes “long-term demand and stable prices,” the company stated, adding that acid-grade, filtercake fluorspar with less than five parts per million of arsenic has seen prices “over the last 18 months at approximately US$500 to $550 per tonne.”
The news release quotes Canada Fluorspar president/CEO Lindsay Gorrill saying, “The current fluorspar prices of approximately US$540 per metric tonne … as reported by Industrial Minerals on January 22, 2013, [add] significant potential upside to the economics of the project.”
The plan calls for underground mining of previously worked mines, Blue Beach North for the first 6.5 years and Tarefare No. 2 for the next 7.5 years. Total annual operating costs are estimated at $30.3 million. The company attributes the figure to high-grade ore, existing infrastructure, proximity to tide water, availability of processing water, anticipated high recoveries and support from the community and the Newfoundland government. In particular, the province has helped finance new deep-water docks for the project.
Meanwhile exploration continues on other parts of the property, with trenching on the Grebes Nest vein and a 35-hole, 13,000-metre drill program on the Director vein.
Canada Fluorspar’s news follows a January 28 update about the proposed reverse takeover involving Camisha Resources TSXV:CRN and Prima Fluorspar. Camisha has set February 20 for shareholders to decide on the arrangement, which is expected to close in early March, subject to a two-thirds vote and regulatory approval. Camisha would then change its name to Prima Fluorspar.
Prima’s Liard fluorspar property covers 22,500 hectares in northern British Columbia. Shallow drilling during the 1970s produced an historic, non-43-101 resource of 3.2 million tonnes grading 32% CaF2 and historic metallurgical results of 97% CaF2 acidspar.
Prima says the deposit is a potential open pit that might be open at depth and along 30 kilometres of strike. Just south of the Yukon border, the property is on the Alaska Highway and 300 kilometres from rail. This year’s plans include geophysics, baseline environmental studies and 80 to 100 drill holes.
Disclaimer: Prima Fluorspar Corp is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in that company.
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