First Tin in final approvals stages as Taronga DFS completes

Tin development company First Tin (LON:1SN) has completed the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its Taronga Tin Project located in northeastern New South Wales.

First Tin is now working on the completion and submission of the environmental impact statement and moving the project through the final approval processes with the regulatory authorities, while concurrently progressing financing and offtake discussions for the next phase of development.

Results from the DFS show the $176 million (US$116 million) capex project, which is owned by First Tin’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary Taronga Mines, will produce an average of 3,600 tonnes of tin in concentrate.

The DFS was completed at a conservative base case tin price of $39,394 (US$26,000) per tonne, with pre-tax NPV8 and IRR of $143 million and 24% respectively (post-tax $98 million and 20%)

Pre-tax NPV8 increases to $331 million and IRR to 42% (post-tax $230 million and 34%) at the current tin price of $50,739 (US$33,097) per tonne as of 26 April 2024.

The Taronga Tin Project has low C1 site cash costsof $18,192 (US$12,007) per tonne of tin produced and all-in-sustaining-costs(AISC) of $24,005 (US$15,843) per tonne of tin sold. The company says this places Taronga in the lowest half – and close to lowest quartile – on the global cost curve.

Taronga’s EBITDA margin is above 50% at the current tin price.

First Tin CEO Bill Scotting says the DFS results confirm the company has a valuable and robust project that can deliver a much-needed secure tin supply into a world undergoing an energy transition and digital transformation.

“The recent jump in tin prices to above US$35,000 per tonne, as the reality of constrained global tin supply and low inventory becomes apparent, confirms that in using US$26,000 our DFS has been developed on a very conservative basis,” he says.

“While this provides comfort on the downside, it also shows the tremendous upside potential as tin prices inevitably respond to the structural change in demand and need for new supply. To this price benefit, we can also anticipate higher recoveries from ongoing mineral processing optimisation, as well as the potential to extend the mine life.

The value from Taronga derives from its unique geology, mineralogy, and geography. The ore body outcropping on a ridge at the surface enables a low cost, bulk open pit mining solution with a low strip ratio. The coarse nature of the cassiterite enables rapid liberation with basic crushing and gravity separation processes. This delivers a range of benefits, quickly reducing material volume, significantly enhancing the grade, and enabling a low tech, low capex and low-cost processing plant.”

Located in a historic tin mining district, Taronga is close to major transport infrastructure and the company has also invested in freehold land and water rights.

The topography, on-site bore water, and use of solar energy all contribute to low operating costs.

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Images: First Tin
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Written By Adam Orlando Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.