Mkango Announces Results of Definitive Feasibility Study


LONDON and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mkango Resources Ltd. (AIM/TSX-V: MKA) (the “Company” or “Mkango”) is pleased to announce the results of the definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) for the Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project (“Songwe” or the “Project”) in Malawi.

Highlights

  • US$559.0 million post-tax net present value (“NPV”), using a 10% nominal discount rate, with an internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 31.5%, payback period of 2.5 years from full production (5 years from start of capital expenditure) and post-tax life-of-operations nominal cash flow of $2.1 billion.
  • DFS is for 100% of Songwe on a stand-alone basis. Under the Mines and Minerals Act of Malawi, the Government of Malawi is entitled to a 10% free carried interest in Songwe.
  • Songwe is now confirmed as one of the very few rare earths projects globally to have reached the DFS stage, with a full Environmental, Social, Health Impact Assessment (“ESHIA”) completed in compliance with IFC Performance Standards and The Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (2020) (“GISTM”) adopted for design and management of the tailings storage facility.
  • Long operating life of 18 years, with mining assumed to commence in February 2025, production ramping up from July 2025 and averaging 5,954 tonnes per year total rare earth oxides (“TREO”) for the first five years of full production (September 2025 – August 2030), including 1,953 tonnes per year of neodymium and praseodymium oxides, and 56 tonnes per year of dysprosium and terbium oxides, in a mixed rare earth carbonate (“MREC”) grading 55% TREO, generating nominal EBITDA of US$215 million per year.
  • Neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium are critical for the green transition, used in permanent magnets for electric vehicles, wind turbines and many electronic devices.
  • Initial capital expenditure (“capex”) of US$277 million (excluding a US$34 million contingency) for development of mine, mill, flotation and hydrometallurgy plants, tailings storage facility, and related project infrastructure in Malawi.
  • The NPV excludes any value attributable to the proposed Pulawy Rare Earth Separation Project (“Pulawy”) in Poland, which is expected to process MREC from Songwe, enabling Mkango to capture additional value via growing its integrated downstream business with a captive source of primary raw material feed from Songwe. The NPV also excludes any value attributable to Mkango’s interests in rare earth magnet recycling.
  • The results of the DFS for an integrated project, comprising both Songwe and Pulawy, are expected to be announced when both the Mine Development Agreement (“MDA”) with the Malawi Government is completed for Songwe and the feasibility study is completed for Pulawy.
  • In parallel, a major focus for the Company will be further optimisation of the Project with the objective of lowering capex and operating costs (“opex”), both of which have been negatively impacted by current market dislocations, creating the potential to reduce costs as markets stabilise. 

The Company will host an investor conference call at 3pm UK time / 10am Eastern Time on Friday 8th July 2022. Please join the call at least 5 minutes before the booked start time to allow the operator to transfer you into the call by the scheduled start time: Canada toll free: 1 866 378 3566; UK toll free: 0808 109 0700; USA toll free: 1 866 966 5335; Password: Mkango DFS Results.

The DFS indicates a US$559.0 million post-tax NPV, using a 10% nominal discount rate, and 31.5% post-tax IRR for 100% of Songwe. The DFS is based on Songwe as a stand-alone project selling MREC as opposed to separated rare earth oxides and excludes Pulawy, which has potential to add significant downstream value. The financial analysis doesn’t reflect any changes to the fiscal regime that may be contained in the MDA that is currently being negotiated with the Government of Malawi. The Company plans to announce the results of the feasibility study for an integrated project comprising both Songwe and Pulawy (the “Integrated DFS”) when both the MDA is completed for Songwe and the feasibility study is completed for Pulawy.

With the release of the Songwe DFS and in anticipation of releasing the Integrated DFS, Mkango continues to advance ongoing discussions with potential strategic investors, development and commercial banks, and off-takers, working closely with its brokers, its project finance advisors, Terrafranca Capital Partners Ltd (www.terrafranca.co.uk), its United States strategic advisors, Jones Group International (www.jonesgroupinternational.com) and EIT RawMaterials (www.eitrawmaterials.eu) within the framework of the European Raw Materials Alliance.

During the week of 27th June 2022, the Company hosted site visits to Songwe for a number of major commercial and development banks.

Derek Linfield, Chairman of Mkango, stated: “This is a major milestone which few rare earth companies have been able to reach. It reflects the perseverance and outstanding work completed by our executive and management team since Project inception in 2010, as well as by our excellent team of international consultants, advisors and academic partners, in addition to the longstanding support of our local stakeholders and the Government of Malawi. We look forward to developing this exciting Project for the benefit of Malawi and our shareholders.

William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, stated: “Songwe is the cornerstone of Mkango’s Mine, Refine, Recycle strategy, underpinning development of the proposed Pulawy separation plant in Poland and complementing our interests in rare earth magnet recycling in the UK and Germany via HyProMag. The DFS is a major step forward for the Company, uniquely positioning Mkango as a future supplier of both mined and recycled rare earths for the green transition, against a backdrop of a very strong demand and pricing outlook.

Alexander Lemon, President of Mkango, stated: “Mkango is pleased to announce this major milestone for the Company, and looks forward to finalising the Mining Development Agreement with the Government of Malawi. This Project is transformational for Malawi, and Mkango welcomes the very strong support it is receiving from all stakeholders. Songwe will catalyse a new industrial revolution in Malawi, creating employment opportunities and producing high value-added exports, as well as further unlocking Malawi’s mineral potential and new infrastructure developments.”

Summary of Selected Financial Inputs and Corresponding Results – Post-Tax Valuation

ItemUnitValue
Life of operations post-tax nominal cash flowUS$ million2,083.3
Payback period from project start1Years5.0
Payback period from start of full production1Years2.5
Post-tax NPV at 10% (nominal) discount rateUS$ million559.0
Post-tax IRR (nominal)%31.5

1 Assumes project start ie start capital expenditure March 2023 and start of full production September 2025

Project Overview

Mkango appointed SENET, a DRA Global company, as the principal consultant to complete the DFS. SENET is a leading engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) minerals processing and project delivery firm located in Africa. Other primary consultants for the DFS included the following:

  • Geology, Mineral Resource, and Geotechnical Investigation: The MSA Group (Pty) Ltd (“MSA”)
  • Mining: Bara Consulting (Pty) Ltd (“Bara”)
  • Comminution: Grinding Solutions Limited (“Grinding Solutions”), Keramos
  • Process Plant including On-Site and Off-Site Infrastructure: SENET, a DRA Global Company (“SENET”)
  • Hydrometallurgy: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (“ANSTO”)
  • Flotation: KYSPY Investments (Pty) Ltd (“KYSPYmet”), ALS Metallurgy (Pty) Ltd (“ALS Metallurgy”)
  • Tailings Storage Facility (TSF): Epoch Resources (Pty) Ltd (“Epoch”)
  • Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA): Digby Wells and Associates (Pty) Ltd (“Digby Wells Environmental”), Kongiwe Environmental (Pty) Ltd 
  • Geochemistry: SGS Australia (Pty) Ltd
  • Geotechnical testwork: Western Geotechnical and Laboratory Services
  • Logistics: C. Steinweg Bridge (Pty) Ltd

The DFS is based on a conventional open pit contract mining operation, feeding mills, flotation and hydrometallurgy plants on site in Malawi to produce a MREC, with an operating life (mining and processing) of 18 years with mining expected to commence in February 2025, processing expected to ramp up from July 2025 and full production expected from September 2025. The Company believes there is potential to increase the mine life given the additional Inferred Resource, the potential to expand the Mineral Resource, and the exploration potential from the nearby Nkalonje project. The DFS supports the declaration of a Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve Estimate of 18.1 million tonnes grading 1.16% TREO.

Energy supply for the Project comprises a 24 MW solar facility supplemented with grid power, which in Malawi is largely from hydroelectric sources. The Company is also evaluating wind power to further enhance and diversify the renewable power mix.

Songwe features broad zones of outcropping rare earth mineralisation on the northern slopes of a steep sided hill. The annual processing capacity is assumed to be approximately 1.0 million tonnes per year of ore with a view to producing an average of 5,954 tonnes of TREO in MREC per year for the first five years and 4,081 tonnes of TREO in MREC per year in years 6 to 18. The MREC will be cerium depleted. Because cerium is currently considered to have challenging market fundamentals, there is a strong economic rationale to remove as much cerium as possible and, as a result, a large proportion of the cerium will be removed from the MREC during the hydrometallurgical process. Confirmation of the flotation and hydrometallurgical processing flow sheets was underpinned by seven piloting campaigns at ALS Metallurgy and ANSTO.

The final stage of hydrometallurgical piloting at ANSTO produced MREC grading 55% TREO equivalent, enriched in neodymium and praseodymium (“Nd/Pr”) oxides, which together made up 31% of the rare earth oxide content in the carbonate product (i.e. Nd/Pr oxides / TREO = 31%).

The MREC produced from Songwe is expected to be a high value product (averaging US$32,816 per tonne (real 2022 US dollars)) for the first full five years of production based on pricing estimates from Adamas Intelligence and will be exported via largely existing infrastructure. The Project is connected by road to Blantyre, the largest commercial centre in Malawi, located approximately 70 km away, which has a rail head and international airport.

There have been significant improvements to local infrastructure in recent months. The Malawi Roads Authority has upgraded an existing government road from nearby Migowi to the Songwe Hill project site. To date, 12 km of an existing 15 km government dirt track has been upgraded and widened to an all-weather gravelled road with new reinforced concrete culverts, embankments and bridges installed.

The MREC is expected to be shipped to the proposed Pulawy project in Poland for separation. The DFS is based on selling the MREC rather than separated products. As a result, a 27% discount was applied to the forecasted value of rare earths contained in the MREC (discount equivalent to approximately US$22.07 per kilogram (real 2022 US dollars) of TREO in MREC for first full five years of production to reflect the discount that would be applied for MREC product versus the value of the underlying separated rare earth oxides (“REO”). A significant proportion of this discount is expected to be captured in the Pulawy separation plant. It is envisaged that the Pulawy plant will sell separated neodymium, praseodymium and / or didymium (NdPr) oxides as well as a heavy rare earth enriched carbonate and a lanthanum cerium carbonate, thereby capturing more of the value of the underlying REOs. Subject to the results of the Pulawy feasibility study, Mkango is targeting a separation cost of less than US$3 per kilogram of TREO in MREC (based on the rare earth distribution below) to produce this product suite at Pulawy, with a capex for the separation plant targeted at approximately US$120 million.

A summary of the key outputs of the DFS is presented in the tables below:

Summary of Mining and Processing Inputs and Results – Average over First Full Five Years1

ItemUnitValue
Mining  
Average yearly ore minedkt2,186
Average TREO grade mined%1.19
Average yearly waste minedkt3,667
Average strip ratio (waste:ore) 1.68
Processing  
Average yearly flotation plant feedkt1,000.8
Average plant feed TREO grade%1.50
Flotation TREO concentrate grade%15.05
Average TREO recovery to concentrate%74.10
Average yearly flotation concentrate feed to hydrometallurgical plantkt74.06
Average NdPr oxide hydrometallurgical recovery to carbonate%85.3
Average Ce oxide hydrometallurgical recovery to carbonate%20.9
Average yearly TREOs in carbonate productt5,954
Average carbonate TREO grade%55
Average yearly carbonate production (dry basis)t10,826

1 First 5 years refers to the 60 months from start of processing in September 2025. Mining excludes first 5 months of mined and stockpiled ore prior to start of processing (819,437 tonnes at 1.00% TREO)

Summary of Mining and Processing Inputs and Results – Life of Operations (averages)

ItemUnitValue
Life of operations (mining and processing)Years18
Mining (February 2025 – April 2037)  
Average yearly ore minedkt1,481
Average TREO grade mined%1.16
Average yearly waste minedkt3,311
Average strip ratio (waste:ore) 2.2
Processing (September 2025 – August 2043)1  
Average yearly flotation plant feedkt1,000.8
Average plant feed TREO grade%1.16
Flotation TREO concentrate grade%11.64
Average TREO recovery to concentrate%74.10
Average yearly flotation concentrate feed to
hydrometallurgical plant
kt74.06
Average NdPr oxide hydrometallurgical recovery to carbonate%85.3
Average Ce oxide hydrometallurgical recovery to carbonate%20.9
Average yearly TREOs in carbonate productt4,634
Average carbonate TREO grade%55.00
Average yearly carbonate production (dry basis)t8,425

1 Excludes final month of partial operations

Summary of Mining and Processing Inputs and Results – Life of Operations (totals)

ItemUnitValue
Mining  
Total ore minedkt18,147.8
Total waste minedkt40,553.9
Strip ratio (waste: ore) 2.2
Processing  
Total flotation concentrate feed to hydrometallurgical plantkt1,341.4
Total contained TREO in carbonate productkt83.4
Total carbonate production (dry basis)t151,644

Market and Financial Analysis

A detailed financial model was constructed based on input parameters set out in the DFS. Free cash flows were modelled in both real and nominal terms for a range of discount rates and on a debt free basis.

MREC price forecasts and underlying REO price forecasts were based on the following market analysis by Adamas Intelligence from their report dated April 2022 entitled Rare Earth Magnet Market Outlook to 2035:

  • From 2022 through 2035:
    • Global demand for NdFeB magnets is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 8.6 %, bolstered by double-digit growth from the electric vehicle and wind power sectors, translating into comparable demand growth for the rare earth elements (“REEs”) (i.e., neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium) that these magnets contain.
    • Global production of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium are forecast to collectively increase at a slower CAGR of 5.4 % as the supply side of the market increasingly struggles to keep up with rapidly growing demand.
  • From 2023 through 2035, the global rare earth industry is expected to consistently underproduce neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium oxides (or oxide equivalents), resulting in the depletion of historically accumulated inventories and, ultimately, shortages of these critical magnet materials if supply is not increased beyond the levels currently anticipated.

Songwe offers strong economic exposure to the rare earth permanent magnet sector, which is the fastest-growing end-use category for rare earths and the one most in need of additional rare earth supplies. From a marketing, logistics and economic standpoint, the high proportion of valuable magnet-related REEs in the Songwe Hill project’s prospective TREO production means that a future mine (with separation) could generate approximately 95% of its rare earth revenues from just 34% of its production volume.

Going forward, Adamas Intelligence believes that the current strong pricing environment for rare earth materials is here to stay, notwithstanding the market’s usual ebbs and flows on the back of seasonality and other transient factors.

Adamas Intelligence forecasts the following for the basket value (real 2022 US dollars) of Songwe Hill’s TREO production:

  • Base case: US$64.81/kg in 2022 increasing to US$102.77/kg in 2035
  • Upside scenario: US$70.59/kg in 2022 increasing to US$114.59/kg in 2035
  • Downside scenario: US$59.02/kg in 2022 increasing to US$91.07/kg in 2035

Adamas Intelligence forecasts the following for the value of MREC (real 2022 US dollars) produced at the Songwe Hill project based on a MREC grade of 55% and applying a 27% discount to the forecast MREC value (discount equivalent to US$17.50 per kilogram of TREO in MREC in 2022 and US$27.75 per kilogram of TREO in MREC in 2035) to reflect the estimated discount that would be applied for MREC product versus the value of the underlying separated rare earth oxides (“REO”):

  • Base case: US$26.02/kg in 2022 increasing to US$41.26/kg in 2035
  • Upside scenario: US$28.34/kg in 2022 increasing to US$46.01/kg in 2035
  • Downside scenario: US$23.70/kg in 2022 increasing to US$36.57/kg in 2035.

The Adamas Intelligence base case scenario was applied in the DFS which is an equivalent to a total rare earth basket value in real 2022 US Dollars for Songwe of US$64.81/kg of TREO in 2022, increasing to US$83.62/kg in 2025 and US$102.77/kg in 2035.

The key revenue drivers for Songwe are neodymium and praseodymium. The base case basket value and MREC price forecasts reflect underlying neodymium oxide (Nd oxide) and praseodymium oxide (Pr oxide) price forecasts of US$165.0/kg and US$156.8/kg in 2022 increasing to US$215.5/kg and US$204.7/kg in 2025 and US$266.0/kg and US$252.7/kg in 2035.

From a marketing, logistics and economic standpoint, the high proportion of valuable magnet-related REEs in the Project’s expected TREO production means that Songwe (with separation at Pulawy) could generate approximately 95% of its rare earth revenues from just 34% of its production volume.

The relative contributions of the REOs to the production split and basket value, based on the first full five years of production, are illustrated below:

Rare earth oxide REO Price Assumption REO in MRECREO in MREC REO in MRECREO in MREC
  US$/kgtonnes per years% Split (tonnes)(US$/kg)% split (value)
LanthanumLa2O31.402,32639.07%0.550.7%
CeriumCeO21.451,09418.38%0.270.3%
PraseodymiumPr6O11199.824587.70%15.3818.8%
NeodymiumNd2O3210.331,49525.10%52.8064.6%
SamariumSm2O35.091973.31%0.170.2%
EuropiumEu2O336.37510.85%0.310.4%
GadoliniumGd2O3108.411101.86%2.012.5%
TerbiumTb4O72482.94120.20%5.016.1%
DysprosiumDy2O3584.22440.74%4.305.3%
YttriumY2O316.901432.40%0.410.5%
HolmiumHo2O3286.8460.10%0.270.3%
ErbiumEr2O362.92100.17%0.110.1%
ThuliumTm2O3200.0010.02%0.040.0%
YtterbiumYb2O319.5960.10%0.020.0%
LutetiumLu2O3949.8310.01%0.100.1%
   Average REO in MREC:
5,954 tonnes
Total: 100%
Nd/Pr/Dy/Tb oxides: 34%
Average basket value: US$81.73/kgTotal: 100%
Nd/Pr/Dy/Tb oxides: 95%

Based on the preceding assumptions, the discounted cash flow valuation analysis for the base case provided the following results:

  • NPV at 10% (nominal) (7.3% real) of US$559.0 million as at 1 July 2022
  • IRR of 31.5% (nominal) (28.3% real)

NPVs of Songwe Hill Project1

Financial
Evaluation
Nominal
Discount
Rate
(%)
Real
Discount
Rate
(%)
Adamas Intelligence
Base Case
Post-tax NPV
(US$million)
Adamas Intelligence
Upside Case
Post-tax NPV
(US$million)
Adamas Intelligence
Downside Case
Post-tax NPV
(US$million)
 8.05.37719.31,007.2431.6
Base Case10.07.32559.0801.4316.5
 12.09.27435.0641.1228.5
      
    
Nominal Internal Rate of Return31.47%39.20%22.70%
Real Internal Rate of Return28.26%35.80%19.71%
1 As at July 1, 2022

Operating Costs

Cash operating costs include the costs of contract mining, milling, flotation, leaching, purification and precipitation to produce a MREC in addition to other costs associated with the operation. The operating costs do not include the cost of separation, which is reflected in the 27% discount applied to the basket value of the REOs in MREC. The estimate of opex, and the associated general and administration (“G&A”) costs, were calculated to an accuracy of +15% to −10% and were utilised in the economic analysis of the Project.

Reagents and consumables account for 56% of estimated opex, with power accounting for an additional 18%. Operating costs have been negatively impacted by the increased costs of reagents and the freight costs of shipping these reagents and these costs may reduce within the timeline for Songwe development as reagent supply chains and shipping costs return to more normal market conditions. This will be investigated further in parallel with front end engineering and design (“FEED”) for Songwe.

In addition, the Company and SENET, together with the Company’s other consultants, have identified a number of other areas with potential for optimisation, which will focus on reducing reagent and power consumption.

Operating Costs – Average over First Full Five Years

ItemUnitValue
MiningUS$/kg TREO4.8
Beneficiation – Milling and FlotationUS$/kg TREO7.9
Hydrometallurgical PlantUS$/kg TREO10.8
G&A and OtherUS$/kg TREO1.8
Total Operating CostsUS$/kg TREO25.3

Operating Costs – Average over Life of Operations

ItemUnitValue
MiningUS$/kg TREO3.9
Beneficiation – Milling and FlotationUS$/kg TREO10.2
Hydrometallurgical PlantUS$/kg TREO13.8
G&A and OtherUS$/kg TREO2.2
Total Operating CostsUS$/kg TREO30.1

Capital Expenditure

The estimate of initial capital expenditure costs was calculated to an accuracy of +15% to −10% and was utilised in the economic analysis of the Project. The capital costs were priced as of Q3 and Q4 of 2021. These costs were increased by 7.5% to account for the increase in prices between last year and the date of the DFS as, due to anomalous market conditions, the increase was higher than expected. Capex estimates were reviewed by Professional Cost Consultants (PCC), which confirmed the estimates were realistic.

The largest capex component is an integrated processing plant comprising a mill, flotation plant, hydrometallurgical plant, and a sulphuric acid plant with power co-generation capacity. The capex estimate for the integrated processing plant was completed by SENET and covers the design, engineering, procurement, supply/manufacture, construction and pre-commissioning of the proposed new processing facility and associated plant complex infrastructure including a 24.3MW solar facility. Other major capex items include the cost of a lined tailings storage facility provided by Epoch.

Total initial capital expenditure is US$277.4 million, not including a contingency of US$33.8 million.

Capital Cost Summary

ItemUnitValue
Total Development CapitalUS$ million277.4
ContingencyUS$ million33.8
Total Development Capital Including ContingencyUS$ million311.2
Sustaining capital and reclamationUS$ million77.6
Total Capital ExpenditureUS$ million388.8

Capital Cost Breakdown

DescriptionCAPEX ContingencyTotal CAPEX
US$US$US$
General & Plantwide124,924,95517,288,526142,213,481
Comminution/flotation28,223,7552,856,94531,080,700
Hydromet27,206,9852,775,70529,982,690
Spares4,896,744734,5125,631,256
Mobile Plant & Equipment4,087,295613,0944,700,389
Generator Plant5,469,482820,4226,289,904
PV Solar Plant21,327,6633,031,64624,359,308
Construction Camp3,567,379535,1074,102,486
TSF Phase 1 and RWD31,225,0502,420,54633,645,596
Mining Pre-Production13,972,6752,095,90116,068,576
Other12,460,340623,01713,083,357
TOTAL INITIAL COST277,362,322 33,795,421 311,157,744

Capital Cost Breakdown

DescriptionCAPEX (US$)Contingency (US$)Total CAPEX (US$)
Earthworks7,470,5601,120,5848,591,144
Civil Works – Plant17,336,4772,600,47119,936,948
Civil Works – Infrastructure1,717,576257,6361,975,212
Infrastructure2,993,326299,3333,292,658
Structural Steel6,239,267748,7126,987,979
Plate Work2,699,408323,9293,023,337
Tankage4,509,659541,1595,050,818
Machinery and Equipment51,550,1035,155,01056,705,113
Piping5,776,188866,4286,642,616
Valves1,763,011264,4522,027,463
Electricals10,505,6001,050,56011,556,160
Instrumentation5,178,489776,7735,955,263
Transport4,389,373658,4065,047,778
E&I Installation6,715,6721,007,3517,723,023
SMPP Installation21,862,3003,279,34525,141,645
TOTAL DIRECT FIELD COSTS150,707,01018,950,150169,657,160
Commissioning Spares243,05036,458279,508
2-Year Operational Spares2,633,275394,9913,028,266
Insurance and Critical Spares2,020,419303,0632,323,482
Vendor Services2,596,685389,5032,986,188
First Fills558,55483,783642,337
TOTAL INDIRECT FIELD COSTS8,051,9831,207,7989,259,781
TOTAL FIELD COST158,758,99320,157,947178,916,941
    
Project Management (EPCM)23,318,2663,497,74026,816,006
Insurances and Guarantees3,175,18003,175,180
TOTAL HOME OFFICE COSTS26,493,4463,497,74029,991,186
TOTAL PROJECT COST 185,252,43923,655,687208,908,127
    
Mobile Plant and Equipment4,087,295613,0944,700,389
Generator Plant5,469,482820,4226,289,904
PV Solar Plant21,327,6633,031,64624,359,308
Construction Camp3,567,379535,1074,102,486
TSF Phase 1 and RWD31,225,0502,420,54633,645,596
Mining Pre-Production13,972,6752,095,90116,068,576
Other12,460,340623,01713,083,357
TOTAL OTHER COST92,109,88310,139,734102,249,617
    
TOTAL INITIAL COST277,362,32233,795,421311,157,744
    
TSF Sustaining Capital – Phases 2 to 549,551,3803,841,19253,392,572
Mining Sustaining Capital896,618134,4931,031,111
Closure Cost15,616,797961,46016,578,257
Owners Cost6,028,280602,8286,631,108
TOTAL SUSTAINING COST72,093,0755,539,97377,633,048
TOTAL COST349,455,39739,335,394388,790,792

Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates

The DFS is based on the NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate prepared by MSA entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – January 23, 2019 Mineral Resource Estimate” which was filed on SEDAR on February 3, 2020. The Mineral Resources are reported within a conceptual pitshell at a selected cut-off, taking into consideration processing and mining assumptions, as part of an assessment of reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction (“RPEEE”). The Mineral Resource Estimates for Songwe Hill are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.0% TREO and classified into the Measured, Indicated and Inferred categories as summarised below.

CategoryTonnage (Mt)TREO %TREO
(‘000 Tonnes)
Measured8.811.50131.9
Indicated12.221.35165.5
Measured & Indicated21.031.41297.4
Inferred27.541.33366.2

Note: TREO = La2O3, CeO2, Pr6O11, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb4O7, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3, and Y2O3 In situ – no geological losses applied

The sensitivity of the Mineral Resource at a variety of cut-off grades for the combined Measured and Indicated categories is presented in the following table.

Cut-off
TREO %
Tonnage
(Mt)
TREO %TREO
(‘000 Tonnes)
0.5037.641.13425.7
0.7530.451.25379.9
1.0021.031.41297.4
1.2512.441.62201.2
1.506.801.83124.1
2.001.122.3526.32

The Inferred Mineral Resources are presented at a variety of cut-off grades in the table below.

Cut-off
TREO %
Tonnage
(Mt)
TREO %TREO
(‘000 Tonnes)
0.5059.651.02608.2
0.7543.741.16507.1
1.0027.541.33366.2
1.2514.351.52218.4
1.505.921.75103.4
2.000.922.2120.3

The DFS supports the declaration of a Mineral Reserve Estimate for the Project. The results of the DFS have shown that the mining inventory included in the study, which is derived from only Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, can be viably mined based on the techno-economic assumptions in the DFS. Mineral Reserves resulting from Measured Mineral Resources have been considered as Proven Mineral Reserves while those generated from Indicated Mineral Resources are categorised as Probable Mineral Reserves. The table below shows a summary of the total Mineral Reserves.

Mineral Reserve Estimate

CategoryTonnage (Mt)TREO %TREO



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