Cadence Minerals (AIM/NEX: KDNC; OTC: KDNCY) is pleased to note that Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) (“Hastings”), Cadence’s joint venture partner at the Yangibana Rare Earth Project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia (“Yangibana” “Yangibana Project”), has progressed an agreement for a coastal location within the Pilbara region of Western Australia for the Yangibana Rare Earth Project’s Hydrometallurgical cracking and leaching plant.
Hasting’s proposal to decouple the Yangibana processing facility and relocate the Hydrometallurgical plant to a coastal location will add substantial value to the Yangibana Project in the near term, through reductions in required upfront capital financing. The long-term benefits include greater opportunities to optimise operating expenditure through project risk mitigation.
Hasting’s assessed a number of fully serviced locations along the coast from Port Hedland to Geraldton. The new plant location, which is being evaluated, will significantly reduce on-site capex because of the presence of existing and accessible services such as gas, water, mains power and telecommunications infrastructure.
- Hastings to pursue a decoupled processing strategy and relocate Yangibana’s Hydrometallurgical plant to the Pilbara region of Western Australia
- Decoupling strategy can reduce Yangibana’s project capex by approximately $68m:
o reduction in on-site CAPEX associated with eliminating the need for a 114km gas pipeline
o 40% reduction in onsite water abstraction and power requirements results in further savings in upfront Capital
o Additional CAPEX savings through 50km reduction in access road distances
- Proposed location has established gas, water, power, and telecommunications and is close to Port handling facilities
- Beneficiated Rare Earth Concentrate to be trucked by road to new location for cracking and leaching at the Hydrometallurgical plant
- Mining and Concentrate production to remain at Yangibana.
Access to gas is particularly important because the centrepiece of the hydrometallurgical plant is the acid-baked kiln. The kiln is a large consumer of gas and thus the relocation of the hydrometallurgical plant will eliminate the need to construct a 114km gas pipeline from the Dampier-to-Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) to the Yangibana mine site which is the single largest capex item.
Other major benefits of the Yangibana processing decoupling strategy include:
- Reduces Yangibana on-site power requirements by 40% allowing the introduction of a smaller modular power station, which can then be provided as a build/own/operate power offtake contract with an established 3rd party provider;
- Reducing the scale of on-site water and associated infrastructure facilities by 40% providing further expected capex savings; and
- Providing close proximity to port facilities for importation of construction materials and export of product, thus reducing Yangibana’s transport costs.
In addition, the proposal to locate the hydrometallurgical plant at a coastal location in the Pilbara will enable Hastings to:
- Leverage existing chemical storage facilities in an established regional centre, significantly reducing the need for onsite storage and expensive transportation of reagents;
- Benefit from a greater availability of large local service providers and skilled personnel;
- Reduce the number of onsite personnel at Yangibana by 30%, lowering FIFO costs in manning and transportation; and
- Promote residential employment positions in the new coastal location.
Detailed capital and logistic studies of the location have commenced. There will be a need for some additional costs through duplication of equipment and services for the new location. Transportation of a beneficiated concentrate will be required from the Yangibana mine site to the new location. However, this transport cost is offset by eliminating the need to transport large volumes of sulphuric acid, caustic soda and other chemical reagents to the Yangibana mine site.
The proposed hydrometallurgical plant location has an already established Native Title Agreement, which does not impact any cultural Heritage Sites.
Hastings will continue to work with the local Shire and the communities while completing the remaining technical, environmental and regulatory reviews for the approval processes. Hasting’s decision to relocate the hydrometallurgical plant has been boosted by the support it has received to date from all levels of government and the community because of the jobs and economic benefits that the plant will bring to the region.
The full HAS release can be found at: https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200729/pdf/44ky17dd4gw4hs.pdf
Charles Lew, Hastings Executive Chairman, said: “The Yangibana rare earths project is proving to be an economically strong project even in this challenging COVID-19 environment. In line with our pursuit of continuous improvement in the project’s robustness, the Hastings leadership saw an opportunity to optimise and improve the proposed Yangibana project layout and further reduce the required capital expenditure. The decision to consider a de-coupling of Yangibana’s processing set-up not only allows us to reduce the overall project’s capex but deliver significant benefits including streamlining operating expenditure associated with logistics arrangements and other associated infrastructure costs, alongside creating significant residential job opportunities in regional Western Australia.”
Cadence Minerals Yangibana Holding:
Cadence owns 30% of 3 Mining Leases, 6 Exploration Licences which form part of the Yangibana Rare Earth Deposit. Hastings Technology Metals owns the remaining 70% (“Hastings”). Further details of our ownership the mineral resources and reserves on our jointly held leases can be found at:
The current mine plan anticipates production to start from our joint venture areas (Yangibana and Yangibana North) in year 6 and continue to the end of mine life (year 13). Further details can be found in the Hastings 2019 Annual Report
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For further information:
|Cadence Minerals plc||+44 (0) 7879 584153|
|WH Ireland Limited (NOMAD & Broker)||+44 (0) 207 220 1666|
|Novum Securities Limited (Joint Broker)||+44 (0) 207 399 9400|
Kiran Morzaria B.Eng. (ACSM), MBA, has reviewed and approved the information contained in this announcement. Kiran holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Geology) from the Camborne School of Mines and an MBA (Finance) from CASS Business School.
Certain statements in this announcement are or may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are identiﬁed by their use of terms and phrases such as ‘‘believe’’ ‘‘could’’ “should” ‘‘envisage’’ ‘‘estimate’’ ‘‘intend’’ ‘‘may’’ ‘‘plan’’ ‘‘will’’ or the negative of those variations or comparable expressions including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors’ current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company’s future growth results of operations performance future capital and other expenditures (including the amount. nature and sources of funding thereof) competitive advantages business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking statements reﬂect the Directors’ current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including risks associated with vulnerability to general economic and business conditions competition environmental and other regulatory changes actions by governmental authorities the availability of capital markets reliance on key personnel uninsured and underinsured losses and other factors many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Although any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based upon what the Directors believe to be reasonable assumptions. The Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements.