Yangibana Project Capital Cost Reduced by A$68m or 13%
Capital estimates have been revised based on the recently announced decoupling and relocation of the Hydrometallurgical plant to the Pilbara Region.
The revised capital estimate is now approximately $449m (exclusive of contingencies), being $68m or 13% lower than that previously announced.
The overall project capital cost estimate was developed by DRA Global and Hastings technical personnel based on an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) approach for the process plant and infrastructure. The estimate includes all the necessary costs associated with engineering, drafting, procurement, construction, construction management, commissioning of the processing facility and associated infrastructure, mining infrastructure, first fills of plant reagents, consumables and spare parts.
The estimate is based upon preliminary engineering, material take-offs and budget price quotations for major equipment and bulk commodities. Unit rates for installation were based on market enquiries specific to the material requirements planning (MRP).
The estimate pricing was obtained predominantly during quarter one 2019 (1Q19) and is in Australian dollars (A$), with new and updated pricing being included from quarter one 2020 (1Q20) and quarter two 2020 (2Q20) for those items which have been altered due to the Hydrometallurgical plant re-location. The overall capital estimate has an estimated accuracy of +/-15 to 20%. This will be refined over the next few months prior to a final cost estimate release during 4Q 2020.
The capital estimate was prepared using a project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which delineates the various areas of the project. Individual estimates were prepared for each area covering all engineering disciplines. The capital estimate has been structured into the following major categories:
- Direct costs;
- Indirect costs;
- Owner's Costs; and
The Yangibana capital cost reduction of $68m is as follows:
- $3.4m reduction in pre-strip mining costs due to volume reductions associated with optimisation of the mining schedule;
- $50m reduction associated with elimination of the 114km gas pipeline;
- $30m reduction associated with elimination of 14Mw on-site powerstation and replacement with smaller modular 3rd party power offtake agreement;
- $8m reduction in site Infrastructure:
o Accommodation facility +$1.3m
o Airstrip +$1m
o Road access realignment -$12.4m
o Non-Process Buildings +$2m
- Additional $14m has been allocated as a result of duplication required in services dealing with storage, and loading and unloading of concentrate and tailings material, reagent storage and distribution services at the new Hydrometallurgical plant location. The addition of an ore sorter and mandated regulatory changes associated with the acid baked kiln and gas scrubber have also been included;
- The cost of Non-Process related infrastructure (buildings) has risen by $2m through necessary duplication at both sites;
- $1m increase for the relocation of the accommodation village. New location is only 3kms from processing plant, compared to 12kms previously.
- $2.3m capex saving due to the reduction in water abstraction infrastructure requirements; and
- $8m increase in indirect costs anticipated with EPCM labour (accommodating a second workforce at the Hydrometallurgical location during the construction phase) and the required duplication of site services to support the construction phase.
Charles Lew, Hastings Executive Chairman, said "This new CAPEX clearly demonstrates the robust nature of the Yangibana Project and the options that it presents. Significant optimisations in project construction capital, mining and processing are starting to show the true value of the Yangibana Project to Hastings and its shareholders. We will now push ahead with re-defining operational costs to reflect the capital changes taking place and to delivering the final results to the market shortly and getting on with the job of building the project as quickly as we can. Lenders are encouraged by the Capex reduction during this challenging period for debt and equity capital market currently affecting small companies and greenfield projects."
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About Hastings Technology Metals Ltd
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) (FRA:5AM) is advancing its Yangibana Rare Earths Project in the Upper Gascoyne Region of Western Australia towards production. The proposed beneficiation and hydro metallurgy processing plant will treat rare earths deposits, predominantly monazite, hosting high neodymium and praseodymium contents to produce a mixed rare earths carbonate that will be further refined into individual rare earth oxides at processing plants overseas.
Neodymium and praseodymium are vital components in the manufacture of permanent magnets which is used in a wide and expanding range of advanced and high-tech products including electric vehicles, wind turbines, robotics, medical applications and others. Hastings aims to become the next significant producer of neodymium and praseodymium outside of China.
Hastings holds 100% interest in the most significant deposits within the overall project, and 70% interest in additional deposits that will be developed at a later date, all held under Mining Leases. Numerous prospects have been identified warranting detailed exploration to further extend the life of the project.
The Brockman deposit, near Halls Creek in Western Australia, contains JORC Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources, estimated using the guidelines of JORC Code (2012 Edition).
The Company is also progressing a Mining Lease application over the Brockman Rare Earths and Rare Metals Project.
Hastings aims to capitalise on the strong demand for critical rare earths created by the expanding demand for new technology products.
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd