St Barbara (ASX:SBM) will prepare an updated environmental and social impact assessment for a new standalone design of the 15 Mile Project now that its Prefeasibility Study (PFS) has been completed.
The $143.14 million market capitalisation company will also update the mineral resource and ore reserve for its Beaver Dam during the March 2024 quarter.
The 15 Mile Project is located 40km northeast of the Touquoy Mine in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Results from the PFS highlight the ore reserves and mineral resources increased by 7%. The ore reserves of the project have increased to 618,000 ounces of contained gold. Meanwhile, the project’s mineral resource increased to 836,000 ounces of contained gold.
Ausenco Engineering Canada led the PFS and was supported by Moose Mountain Technical Services for mine design aspects of the PFS.
St Barbara reports the project has ‘strong’ economics, as on a pre-tax basis, the net present value (NPV) is C$220 million and the internal rate of return is 22%. On a post-tax basis, the NPV is C$714 million and the internal rate of return is 20.3%, using a long-term gold price of US$1,700 per ounce.
The 15 Mile Project will be mined with a conventional drill, blast, and haul setup. The peak mining rate is 8.7 million tonnes per year over an 11-year mine life.
A total of 18.5 million tonnes of ore will be mined at an average grade of 1.04g/t Au, with a total of 52.1 million tonnes of waste mined, resulting in a stripping ratio of 2.8 tonnes waste per tonne of ore.
Commenting on the completion of 15 Mile Project’s PFS, St Barbara Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Andrew Strelein says the company is looking forward to working with Nova Scotia in Canada to create hundreds of rural jobs and to remediate the historical tailings at the site.
“The Feasibility Study engineering is intended to be ramped up as we progress towards Environment Approval with commencement of development entirely achievable in mid calendar 2026.”
“The Feasibility Study engineering is intended to be ramped up as we progress towards Environment Approval with commencement of development entirely achievable in mid calendar 2026“
As of 31 August 2023, the company had $239 million cash at hand, including $47 million restricted cash for the Touquoy security and reclamation bond, according to a 12 September company presentation.
The company’s share price has halved since a high in January and is today trading at $0.185.
On 31 May, St Barbara reported it had submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSECC) and Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) an updated reclamation plan and security estimate for the Touquoy Mine, part of the Atlantic Operations
Regarding the sale of the Leonora assets to Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD), St Barbara has a C$41 million Reclamation Security Bond at Atlantic, which is supported by letters of credit from syndicate banks. The revised bond is calculated to be C$80 million (an increase of C$39 million). NSECC and DNRR are reviewing the submission.
Should NSECC and DNRR accept the reclamation security estimate, St Barbara will be required to source and provide a bank guarantee, or bank guarantees, for the additional bond of C$39 million.
Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au
Images: St Barbara