New MD, PFS for GME

GME Resources is ramping up work on its NiWest nickel-cobalt laterite project in Western Australia, with an updated prefeasibility study leading into a definitive feasibility, to be overseen by a new managing director, ex-Murchison Metals boss Paul Kopejtka.
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GME has worked on NiWest for 30 years

Haydn Black

Reporter

 
It has re-run the numbers it generated in 2018, using a nickel price of US$9.80 per pound and $27/lb cobalt, with unchanged numbers for the reserves, mine plan or process schedule, and says it was four years ago, NiWest remains robust and a potentially long-life operation that can supply products for the battery markets.
 
GME suggests a 2.4 million tonne per annum operation it can deliver an average 19,200t nickel and 1400t cobalt over the first 15 years.
 
Over the full 27-year life production is estimated at 456,000t nickel sulphate and 31,400t of cobalt sulphate.
 
Net present value is A$1.08 billion with internal rate of return of 16.5%.
 
The original PFS used a $7.25/lb nickel price and $25/lb cobalt price, and delivered an ungeared NPV of $791 million and an IRR of 16.2%
 
Total free cashflow has risen from A$3.3 billion to $4.5 billion. It could rise as high as $7 billion if the nickel and cobalt price rises to $11/lb and $30/lb.
 
Pre-production capex has risen from $966 million to $1.26 billion, although payback remains about 4.4 years. GME intends to use a heap leach process it considered to be derisked by Glencore's nearby Murrin Murrin plant.
 
Operating costs have risen from A$96/t to $123/t, for all-in sustaining costs have risen from the earlier US$3.68/lb to $4.15-4.59/lb.
 
Life of mine sustaining capital has risen from $582 million to $742 million.
 
Chair Peter Sullivan claims NiWest is one of the highest-grade undeveloped nickel laterite mineral resources in Australia, but is an underappreciated asset by the market.
 
Reserves across the Eucalyptus, Hepi, and Mt Kilkenny deposits are 592,000t nickel and 38,000t cobalt. It has further resources across other deposits it believes can help optimise grade and extend mine life.
 
GME has held the NiWest project since the late 1990s laterite boom, and has stuck with the project through the various market cycles, spending more than $30 million over the years.
 
The company wants to develop a new processing plant near Leonora.
 
It said Kopejtka, who is investing A$500,000 in GME shares at 7.8c as part of his appointment, will help run the DFS.
 
He will start in September, replacing MD Jamie Sullivan. 
 
The company ended the March quarter with $933,000 in cash.
 
GME shares, which have traded at 4.7-15c over the past year, were up 5% today to 8.7c, valuing it at $50.5 million.