EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT

FBM delivers Saints scoping study

THE modest Saints nickel resource between Kambalda and Leinster in Western Australia could be in production for as little as A$12 million, according to a scoping study released today by Future Battery Metals.

 Met tests have been encouraging

Met tests have been encouraging

The company, previously Auroch Minerals, has owned Saints for the past few years, and is keen to capitalise on rising demand for nickel sulphides, with the company ploughing into a prefeasibility study.
 
The development would require declines centred on the St Patricks and St Andrews deposits, and FBM would need less than $9 million in pre-production spending, with a 12-month development period and short five-year mine life based on current resources of 20,995 tonnes contained nickel, 1570t copper and 631t cobalt.
 
FBM chair Mike Edwards described Saints as a simple, low-risk, low-capex development exploiting known high-grade resources to generate a pre-tax net present value of $56 million, with an internal rate of return of 362%.
 
Payback is about 12 months, assuming a $8.30 per pound nickel equivalent
 
Saints would have "substantial upside if current nickel prices persist or if exploration successfully discovers further resources at depth", Edwards said.
 
The Kambalda-style channels remain open down-plunge.
 
Saints is close to multiple third-party concentrators, so there would be little need for expensive infrastructure, and its proximity to mining hubs at Leinster, Kalgoorlie and Kambalda would lend the project to avoiding a "cost prohibitive" site camp and during a drive-in, drive-out workforce.
 
While FBM needs an offtake agreement, it has reported that material at Saints delivered "excellent recoveries" of 80-87% for nickel, 95% for copper and 84-92% for cobalt.
 
FBM is continuing with permitting, PFS work and ore sorting trials.
 
The company started the year with $4 million cash. 
 
Shares in the company have traded at 4.6-15c over the past year, and were last priced at 7.5c, valuing it at $32 million.

 

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