Feasibility Study Highlights Exceptional Operating Margins
- Average EBITDA - $449 million (US$1.25/lb zinc price).
- Annual zinc production -- 264,000 tpa zinc metal.
- Throughput - 15 Mtpa.
- Operating costs (C1) - US$0.38/lb payable.
- Operating costs (AISC) - US$0.50/lb payable.
- Start-up capital costs - AU$50 million.
- First production - 3Q18.
Analyst comment: this was an excellent achievement for New Century, considering that the acquisition of the Century Zinc Mine was completed less than 6 months ago. Most of what the study revealed has been released in previous company announcements so there are no major surprises, but we believe three main points are worth reiterating.
- Low operating costs - the project's forecast AISC is US$0.50/lb, compared to the current spot zinc price of US$1.43/lb, making the operation one of the lowest-cost zinc projects globally.
- Zinc production - forecast production is 264,000 tonnes of contained zinc metal per annum, making the operation the fifth largest globally in terms of production. We believe that this, combined with the low operating costs, means the company's EBITDA margin will be greater than A$500 million per annum (US$1.40/lb zinc price).
- Fully funded to production - given the significant existing infrastructure, capital costs are forecast at $50 million, with a maximum cash drawdown of $62 million (including working capital). Funds of more than $100 million are available (current cash, plus Sprott debt facility), which means the company is fully funded to production and covered for any over-runs.
With the feasibility study now complete New Century's hard work begins, with production targeted for 3Q18. We look forward to further updates on the project's development in the interim, and note also that the company is assessing the potential to mine and blend its hard-rock resources with tailings; this, we believe, could add significant long-term value to the company.
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About New Century Resources Ltd
New Century Resources Limited (ASX:NCZ) is developing the Century Zinc Mine in Queensland. The Company recently released a Feasibility Study which highlighted that when production recommences at the project (forecast 3Q18) the operation will produce 264,000tpa zinc metal per annum making the company a global top ten zinc producer. The company is fully funded to first production.
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