Peak is completing a Bankable Feasibility Study to develop the Ngualla Rare Earth Project into an ethically sustainable, long term, high quality supplier of choice to the global high technology rare earth market.
Development studies are advanced and propose a mine and multi-stage processing plant at Ngualla in Tanzania to produce a high grade concentrate for shipment to a refinery in the European Union where separated high purity rare earth products will be produced.
In March 2016 the Company completed a detailed Project Update
based on extensive metallurgical test work and pilot plant programs completed since the Preliminary Feasibility Study was released in March 2014. With the rapid growth in rare earth permanent magnet demand now representing 79% of the rare earth market by value in 2015 (IMCOA, 2016), Peak has tailored its processing flowsheet to focus on the production of Neodymium and Praseodymium, which in 2015 represented 85% of the value of the rare earths used in the permanent magnet market.
The Study establishes a robust capital and operating cost base case based on the production of approximately 2,300 tonnes per annum of mixed neodymium and praseodymium rare earth oxide, 250 tonnes per annum of mid and heavy rare earth carbonate (180t contained REO) and 5,900 tonnes per annum of lanthanum and cerium carbonate (4,240tpa of contained REO). Note all costs in US dollars unless otherwise denoted.
Operating cost reduced by US $21 million per annum from PFS (18% reduction from PFS)
Capital cost reduced by US $37 million from PFS (10% reduction from PFS)
31 years operational mine life
Processing flowsheet simplified and derisked through beneficiation and separation pilot plants.
Focused exposure to high growth rare earth permanent magnet market underpinned by electrification of automobiles and green energy applications
Low Capital Cost:
US $330 million Capex including 25% (US $63 million) contingency Ngualla has a substantially lower capital cost than any comparative rare earth project. Capital costs include a base case of a European Union based Refinery to produce high purity separated products. The Project’s low capital costs and advanced stage of development position Ngualla in the forefront of potential new rare earth producers.
Low Operating Costs:
US $97 million per annum for the production of 2,300 tonnes per annum of high purity Neodymium + Praseodymium rare earth oxide, 250 tonnes per annum of Mid + Heavy rare earth carbonate and 5,900 tonnes per annum of Lanthanum + Cerium carbonate. Peak’s Alkali Roast process allows for the early rejection of the majority of low value cerium and deleterious iron leading to a significant reduction in reagent costs
Long life Project:
31 years operational mine life in weathered Bastnaesite Zone alone. There is clear potential for future expansion of the base case level of production once the initial operation and markets are established. The weathered Bastnaesite Zone comprises just 22% of the greater Ngualla Mineral Resource.
The positive outcomes of the Study provide Peak with a clear path forward for the completion of the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) in early 2017.