QUÉBEC CITY, Aug. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Robex Resources Inc. (“Robex ”, “the Group” or “the Company”) (TSXV:RBX) is pleased to announce that it has recently completed a positive Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) and Mineral Reserve estimation for the Kiniero Gold Project (“Kiniero Project”, the “Kiniero Gold Project” or “Kiniero”) located in Republic of Guinea, West Africa.
Earlier this year, Robex announced a business combination with Sycamore Mining Ltd (the “Acquisition” or the “Transaction”), a Cyprus based mining Company owning the Kiniero Project. Closing of the Transaction is still expected to occur after the publication of the new NI 43-101 report and satisfaction of the other conditions precedent to closing, expected by end of Q3 2022.
The PFS confirms good economics for the re-development of the open-pit operations at Kiniero, targeting a series of 5 deposits (the Sector Gobele A “SGA” Complex, Sabali, Mansounia Central, Jean and West Balan) for a total of 13 ore bodies that will feed a central gold processing facility.
Benjamin Cohen, CEO of Robex stated:
“The new Robex team has completed a major step in de-risking Kiniero, demonstrating a robust starter project with attractive economics. We have demonstrated 1.28 Moz of M&I and 1.4 Moz of Inferred of current resources and significant near-term exploration upside. We believe this will allow us quickly to increase the life of mine and the value of the project.
The group also progressed at the operational level with an expanded team to implement Nampala’s proven operational DNA.
With Nampala performing extremely well we can capitalise on our position to optimise the intrinsic value of Kiniero. We believe the Project’s location in the heart of the prolific Kiniero District, scale, economics, permitting status, and extensive technical work make Kiniero a unique asset in West Africa. We are progressing quickly towards production at the heart of this new multi millions onces gold basin in west Africa.
With this PFS we will continue our discussions with the financiers to accelerate investments by end-2022. This would help us to move towards our target of first pour in Q1 2024”.
The PFS was conducted by Mining Plus UK Limited (“Mining Plus“), independent of Robex.
Table 1 : Project Estimates Highlights
|Gold contained, koz||803|
|Mine Life, years||6.5-years|
|Average Annual Production, koz p.a.||Life of Mine||110|
|Cash Costs, $/oz||Life of Mine||985|
The PFS summary metrics and project economics for the Kiniero Project are shown in Table 2 and 3 below.
Table 2 : PFS Summary
|Mine Type||Open Pit|
|Mill Type||3.0Mtpa Gravity/CIL Plant|
|MINERAL RESERVES & MINERAL RESOURCES2|
|Proven & Probable Reserves, koz||803|
|Measured & Indicated Resources (inclusive of Reserves), koz||1.280|
|Inferred Resources, koz||1.400|
|LIFE OF MINE PRODUCTION|
|Mine Life, years||6.5 years|
|Strip Ratio, W:O||4.4|
|Tonnes Processed, Mt||18.6|
|Grade processed, Au g/t||1.34g/t|
|Average recovery rate, %||Oxides 93.4%
|Gold production, koz||712|
|Average annual production, kozpa||110|
|Cash costs, $/oz2||985|
|Upfront capital cost, $m||144.4|
|LoM Capital, $m||161|
1 Pre-tax, based on a gold price of $1,650/oz
2 Mineral Resources use a gold price of $1,950/oz
The Kiniero Gold Project has been evaluated on a discounted cash flow basis. The results of the analysis show the project to be economically strong. Based on a gold price of $1,650/oz, the pre-tax net present value (“NPV”) with a 5% discount rate (NPV5%) is $199 million while the NPV5% post-tax amounts to $114 million.
Payback period on a pre-tax basis is expected to be c. 3.0 years at a gold price of $1,650/oz while payback period on a post-tax basis is expected to stand at 3.5 years. Payback period is defined as the time after process plant start-up that is required to recover the initial expenditures incurred developing the Kiniero Gold Project.
Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) is calculated as setting the Net Present Value equals to zero across the Life of Mine (“LoM”). Using a $1,650/oz gold price, IRR is expected to be 49% on a pre-tax basis and 31% on a post-tax basis.
Table 3 Kiniero Project Highlights
2 Based on 1650 $/oz gold price
3 Payback period calculated starting from start of commercial production
KINIERO PROJECT PFS
The Mineral Resource estimation have been carried out according to the guidelines of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards (2014). Mineral Resources are reported with an effective date of 7th August 2022. The Mineral Resources are reported in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“the NI 43-101”) for Sabali North and Central, Sabali South, Sector Gobele Area, Jean, Banfara, Derekena, Mansounia Central and legacy stockpiles.
The Project is located in eastern Guinea in the Kouroussa Prefecture. It is situated approximately 27km southeast of the town of Kouroussa, 55km west northwest of the provincial centre of Kankan and a distance 546km from Conakry, the capital of Guinea (Figure 1). The Project is located 422km from Bamako, the capital of Mali.
Kiniero gold deposits, located in the prolific gold producing Siguiri Basin, were discovered in the early 1900s and were subsequently explored until 2002 when gold production began under the ownership of Semafo Inc and its subsidiary Semafo Guinée SA.
The Kiniero Gold Project is a 470.48 km² legal exploitation and exploration land package that consists of the adjoining Kiniero exploitation License Area and Mansounia exploration License Area. Together, the two licenses host numerous deposits that form the basis of the PFS.
The historical Kiniero gold mine comprised an open pit mining operation which produced a total of 418,000 ounces of gold during its 12-year operational history. The mine was placed on care-and-maintenance in early 2014 with the mining and exploration licences revoked in 2014.
Robex is now considering restarting the Kiniero gold mine as a long-life open pit mining operation based on constructing a new 3Mtpa process plant (Figure 2). An extensive drilling programme is on-going on the numerous identified deposits to increase the resource base and extend the life of mine at Kiniero predominately through extending the drilling density at depth and along known strike extensions.
Existing mining infrastructure will be refurbished with minimal additional infrastructure required, except for new haul roads which would be dependent on mine layouts selected. In terms of bulk electrical supply, the Project was historically supplied by a battery of diesel generators. The current generator battery is to be upgraded to cater for the anticipated increased electrical requirements, in addition, a photovoltaic (PV) solar plant supported by lithium storage batteries is being evaluated on an Independent Power Producer (IPP) basis to further supplement the thermal capacity, and to reduce electrical generation costs as well as the environmental impact. Current estimates indicate a 18Mmw PV plant would be required, for which the feasibility study by our partner VIVO Energy is currently in progress.
The PFS production schedule is shown in Figure 3.
Production will commence from the existing previously mined Jean and SGA pits and the newly delineated Sabali South pit to optimise the blend of oxides to fresh ore into the plant. Key cross sections and pit shells are shown in Figure 4.
Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources
Table 4 Kiniero Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resources
|Tonnage (Mt)||Grade (Au g/t)||Content (Au koz)|
|Proven & Probable Reserves||18.6||1.34||803|
|Measured Resource (incl. reserves)||–||–||–|
|Indicated Resources (incl. reserves)||34.0||1.18||1,280|
|Measured & Indicated Resources (incl. Reserves)||34.0||1.18||1,280|
On a 100% ownership basis. Measured & Indicated Resources shown inclusive of Reserves
Mineral Resource Estimates follow the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definitions Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and have been completed in accordance with the Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mineral Reserves include historic stockpiles. Reported tonnage and grade figures have been rounded from raw estimates to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate. Minor variations may occur during the addition of rounded numbers. The effective date of the Mineral Resources is 26th August 2022 Mineral Resources are not Reserves until they have demonstrated economic viability based on a prefeasibility study or feasibility study.
The Mineral Resources have been declared above the following cut-offs. The cut-offs have been calculated using a metal price of $1,950/oz for each of the deposits and regolith.
Table 5 Mineral Resource cut-offs used for August 2022 Mineral Resource statement
|Sabali South||SGA||Jean||West Balan||Mansounia|
The Mineral Reserves have been declared above the following cut-offs. The cut-offs have been calculated using a metal price of $1,650/oz for each of the deposits and material type.
Table 6 Reserve cut-offs used for August 2022 Mineral Reserves statement
|Sabali South||SGA||Jean||West Balan||Mansounia|
Mining activities at Kiniero will utilise conventional open-pit mining methods. Drill and blasting are planned for hard oxide and fresh mineralised material, followed by conventional truck and shovel operations within the pits for the movement of mineralised material and waste.
Ore from the Kiniero Gold Project will be processed on-site. The gold will be recovered in a beneficiation 3Mtpa plant that has been designed to process a blend of oxide, laterite, transition, and fresh ores from various ore deposits within the field. The process plant includes crushing, grinding, gravity concentration, thickening, Carbon-In-Leach (“CIL”) and stripping circuits.
Operating Cost Summary
Mining and processing operating cost estimates, prepared by Mine Planning Solutions, are based on a small owner’s team managing mining activities using a contract-mining model, with input from Robex, as summarised in Table 6 below.
Table 7 Kiniero Life of Mine Operating Unit Costs
|Open Pit Mining||$2.7/t mined|
Operating costs have been based on a delivered diesel price of $1.06 per litre and are in line with current local pricing at the time of the PFS. The selected electrical supply is based on a hybrid system of (i) PV plant with total installed capacity of approximately 18MW, (ii) diesel generators with a capacity of approximately 20MW, as well as a (iii) 10MW Power Conversion System (“PCS”) and a 30MWh Battery Energy Storage System.
Capital Cost and Infrastructure Summary
Development Capital Costs
The project capital cost estimate was compiled by Mining Plus with input from Soutex on the CIL Processing Plant and from Epoch on the Tailing Storage Facility (“TSF”), site infrastructure, site access roads and airstrip. Robex has provided project specific portions for General and Administration costs and working capital needs.
A 21-month construction period is projected with the initial capital cost summarised in the table below.
Life of Mine development capital for Kiniero totals $161 million, including 10% Capex contingency. To meet our timeline of first pour in Q1 2024 we have placed an order on a SAG mill of 7.8 kW and there will be further investments in other long lead items in 2022.
Table 8 Kiniero Capital Cost Estimate Summary (First 1.75 years of capital development)
|Treatment Plant, $M||95|
|Tailings Storage Facility, $M||27|
|General & Administrative Costs, $M||15|
|Working Capital, $M||6|
|Contingency (excluding G&A), $M||13|
The sustaining capital costs was estimated based on Nampala operation since first production in 2015 which represents an average $2/t treated.
The TSF will be raised progressively over the LoM of the project. Robex has designed the TSF for a LoM of 12 years. However, for the PFS economic analysis Robex has included only 6.5 years capacity to match the LoM of the current reserve. Only the first two years are included in the initial capital expenditure estimate and the remaining raises are included in the sustaining capital as shown in the Table 8.
The closure costs have been estimated by ABS Africa to be a total of $21.5 million. This includes Contractors, Preliminary and General Costs, Engineering Design and Environmental Permitting
Ownership, Permitting, Taxes and Royalties
Robex is currently negotiating a “mining convention” which will modify the tax structure of the Company in the Republic of Guinea. For transparency we have included a pre-tax NPV and a post-tax NPV with the basic rate in Guinea of 30% per annum.
Gold is subject to a government royalty which is based on a percentage (%) of the spot gold price as described in Table 9 below.
Table 9 Royalties
|Guinean State Royalty||5.00%|
|Local Development Tax||1.00%|
Opportunities and Next Steps
Several potential opportunities to improve the economics of the Kiniero Gold Project contemplated under the PFS have been identified. Examples include, but may not be limited to:
- Kiniero presents a significant opportunity to further delineate multiple established deposits along depth (historical 475,000m of drilling with an average depth of only 75m) and established strike extensions within 3km of the new central processing facility. These targets have the potential to significantly increase the current resource base and enhance the economics of the Kiniero project by increasing the average grade throughput in the new plant and increasing the reserves base/LoM;
- Immediate potential to increase the reserves of the Sabali South, Jean and SGA deposits along strike and at depth;
- Additional geotechnical testing and modelling will be completed to further optimise the realised pit slopes;
- Further optimise mine design and sequencing resulting in operating cost savings and a fully utilised fleet; and
- Undergo additional, in-depth petrological and metallurgical studies on the transition zone within the Sabali deposits to further increase the Kiniero Project’s Mineral Resource and Reserve base.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates to geology and Mineral Resources was reviewed by Mr Dan Tucker, a full-time employee of Mining Plus UK Ltd. Mr Tucker is a member in good standing with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a Chartered Professional Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy and is a Chartered Engineer; he has sufficient experience that is relevant to the commodity, style of mineralisation under consideration and activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates geotechnical engineering was reviewed by Mr Jody Thompson, founder and principal engineer of TREM Engineering in South Africa. Mr Thompson is a certified rock mechanics engineer under the Chamber of Mines’ of South Africa, is a member in good standing with the South African Institute of Rock Engineering, a member of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a member of the International Society of Rock Mechanics; he has sufficient experience that is relevant to the commodity, style of mineralisation under consideration and activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates to metallurgy and processing results was reviewed by Mr Antoine Berton, a full-time employee of Soutex. Mr Berton is a member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the project under consideration which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates to reserves and mining was reviewed by Mr Adriano Carneiro, a full-time employee for Mining Plus. Mr Carneiro is a Chartered Professional Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the project under consideration which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates to tailings storage facility results was reviewed by Mr Guy Wiid, a permanent employee for EPOCH RESOURCES PTY. Mr Wiid is a Professional Engineer in good standing with the Engineering Council of South Africa, and a Chartered Engineering good standing with the American Society of Civil Engineers and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the project under consideration which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Scientific or technical information in this disclosure that relates to environmental, social and governance results was reviewed by Mr Faan Coetzee, a full-time employee of ABS AFRICA PTY. Mr Coetzee is a Registered Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the project under consideration which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
About Sycamore Mining Ltd
Sycamore Mining Ltd is a Cyprus-based mining company focused on developing mining and mineral projects which currently owns an interest in the Kiniero Project located in the Republic of Guinea held through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sycamore Mine Guinee SAU which includes a group of licenses and exploitation permits referred to as Kiniero and an option over an exploration license referred to as Mansounia, together forming the Kiniero District.
About Robex Resources Inc.
Robex Resources Inc. is a TSX-V listed Canadian mining company with exploration properties in Mali and an operating mine. The group has a strong business model, which demonstrated great results with the Nampala mine. With this experience, Robex is now striving to grow in West Africa by acquiring and/or developing new mines.
The PFS report will be posted on Robex’s website at www.robexgold.com and filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this press release.
For more information:
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information set forth in this news release contains “forward‐looking statements” and “forward‐looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation (referred to herein as forward‐looking statements). Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward‐looking statements which includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to: the completion of the proposed acquisition of the Kiniero Project, the potential development and exploitation of the Kiniero Project and the Company’s existing mineral properties and business plan, including the completion of feasibility studies or the making of production decisions in respect thereof; the future financial or operating performance of the Company and the Kiniero Project; results from work performed to date; the estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves; the realization of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates; the development, operational and economic results of the PFS for the Kiniero Project, including cash flows, revenue potential, potential for staged development, capital expenditures, development costs and timing thereof, extraction rates, life of mine projections and cost estimates; magnitude or quality of mineral deposits; anticipated advancement of the Kiniero Project including mine plan; exploration expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new deposits; exploration potential and opportunities at the Kiniero Project; costs and timing of future exploration; the completion and timing of future development studies; estimates of metallurgical recovery rates; anticipated advancement of the Kiniero Project and future exploration prospects; requirements for additional capital; the future price of metals; government regulation of mining operations; environmental risks; the timing and possible outcome of pending regulatory matters; the realization of the expected economics of the Kiniero Project; and future growth potential of the Kiniero Project. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “would”, “anticipate”, ‘believe”, expect”, “intend”, “potential”, “estimate”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “plans”, “planned”, “forecasts”, “goals” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of factors and assumptions made by management and considered reasonable at the time such information is provided. Assumptions and factors include: the Company’s ability to complete conditions precedent to closing of the Transaction, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, the completion of the Company’s due diligence review in relation to the proposed Acquisition; the Company’s ability to complete its planned exploration programs; the absence of adverse conditions at the Kiniero Project; no unforeseen operational delays; no material delays in obtaining necessary permits; the price of gold remaining at levels that render the Kiniero Project economic; the Company’s ability to continue raising necessary capital to finance operations; and the ability to realize on the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates. Forward‐looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward‐looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: general business, economic and competitive uncertainties; the actual results of current and future exploration activities; geopolitical risk, political risks inherent to mining in developing countries, conclusions of economic evaluations; meeting various expected cost estimates; benefits of certain technology usage; changes in project parameters and/or economic assessments as plans continue to be refined; future prices of metals; possible variations of mineral grade or recovery rates; the risk that actual costs may exceed estimated costs; geological, mining and exploration technical problems; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development (including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities); title to properties; the impact of COVID-19 on the timing of exploration and development work and management’s ability to anticipate and manage the foregoing factors and risks. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Readers are advised to study and consider risk factors disclosed in the Company’s most recent annual information form for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects, which may be accessed through the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
There can be no assurance that forward‐looking statements will prove to be accurate, or even benefit Robex, if any, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward‐looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements contained herein are presented for the purposes of assisting investors in understanding the Company’s plan, objectives and goals and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward‐looking statements. This news release also contains or references certain market, industry and peer group data which is based upon information from independent industry publications, market research, analyst reports and surveys and other publicly available sources. Although the Company believe these sources to be generally reliable, such information is subject to interpretation and cannot be verified with complete certainty due to limits on the availability and reliability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process and other inherent limitations and uncertainties. The Company has not independently verified any of the data from third party sources referred to in this news release and accordingly, the accuracy and completeness of such data is not guaranteed.
The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.