Governor Broome looking like an Astute investment

Astute Metals (ASX:ASE) has released Scoping Study results from the Governor Broome Heavy Mineral Sands (HMS) Project in Western Australia, that showcases a ‘high-quality’ development opportunity. 

The company says now that potential value of the project has become clear, it will actively consider options including sourcing of project funding, investigating potential joint venture partners, and a review of sale options and likely buyers for the asset.

The study was conducted by a privately held HMS consultancy group TZ Minerals International.

The project contains 36% measured mineral resources, 60% indicated, and 4% inferred over the life of the project. 

Capital costs for the project are estimated to be $91 million, comprising direct costs of $66.7 million and indirect costs of $24.4 million, with an expected construction period of two years. Sustaining capital is estimated at $1 million per year. 

Predevelopment funding of about $2.5 million to $3 million will be required to convert the mineral resources to an ore reserve and to complete a Prefeasibility Study. 

Annual revenue is expected to be $125 million with the project poised to have a pre-tax NPV (at 10% discount rate) of $139 million. The average annual operating cost is estimated to be $83 million. Project payback is about two years.

The 2024 Scoping Study was based on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate for Governor Broome, as previously reported

The results show an economically robust 10-year dredge mining project producing zircon, chloride, and sulfate-grade ilmenite, rutile, garnet and a rare earth mineral concentrate through third-party toll treatment of the Heavy Mineral Concentrate. 

It also outlines opportunities for substantial upside in assaying low-grade overburden and undertaking exploration along strike from the Fouracres deposit and north-east of the Jack Track deposit. 

“The base-case scenario of a 10-year mine life at a mining rare if 7.6 million tonnes per annum, using low-cost dredge mining, highlights the robustness of Governor Broome as a potential mining project, with excellent capacity for generating strong cashflows and upside from further technical and exploration work,” Astute Metals Chairman Tony Leibowitz says. 

The Governor Broome Project’s combined Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is 101Mt @ 4.5% HM, comprising 28.4Mt @ 4.4% HM in measured category, 66Mt @ 4.5% HM indicated, and 7Mt @ 3.5% HM inferred. 

The Governor Broome project lies in the mineral sands-rich coastal areas of the southwest of Western Australia. 

Astute Metals is a diversified mineral explorer with assets in Australia and the US considered prospective for lithium, copper, gold, and heavy mineral sands. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Astute Metals
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.