Rosh Pinah expansion costs up 20%
By Hilary Mare
BASE metals miner Trevali has announced positive feasibility study results for an expansion of the Rosh Pinah zinc/lead mine, affirming robust project economics, while reducing carbon intensity and water consumption.
The Rosh Pinah Expansion 2.0 (RP2.0) increased the project capital expenditure by nearly 20 percent to over N$1.6 billion.
The payback period increased to 4.6 years, but CEO Ricus Grimbeek stated last week that the study reaffirmed the project’s robust economics. The feasibility study calculated an aftertax net present value, using an eight percent discount, of N$2.3 billion, free cash flow of N$4.3 billion and an internal rate of return of 58 percent.
The feasibility study incorporates a 15-year power purchase agreement with Emesco for the supply of solar power of about 30 percent of the required power and the addition of a water treatment plant in conjunction with the paste fill plant, which would reduce the water intensity from 1.54 m3/t to 0.65 m3/t.
“The RP2.0 project will modernise and expand the 50-year-old mine, increasing throughput by 86 percent, enabling the operation to increase production at a significantly lower operating cost, all while working more safely and reducing our environmental footprint,” said Grimbeek.
The study contemplates increasing the mill throughput from 0.7 million tonnes a year to 1.3 million tonnes a year.
Rosh Pinah will produce 135 million pounds a year of zinc at an average all-in sustaining cost of US$0.67/lb. Yearly lead and silver production will total 23.7 million pounds and 303 000 oz, respectively.
Assuming a positive investment decision, detailed engineering and procurement of long-lead items would start in the fourth quarter and construction would start in mid-2022. Commercial production is expected by about mid-year 2024.
The Rosh Pinah underground zinc-lead mine and 2 000 tonne per day milling operation is located in south-western Namibia, approximately 800 km south of Windhoek and 20 km north of the Orange River, at the edge of the Namib Desert.
The Rosh Pinah mine has been in continuous operation since 1969 and currently produces zinc and lead sulphide concentrates containing minor amounts of copper, silver, and gold. The zinc and lead concentrates are transported by road to Luderitz, and then shipped to the international spot markets.
The Rosh Pinah mine is 90 percent owned by Trevali and 10 percent by Namibian broad-based empowerment groupings and an Employee Empowerment Participation Scheme (EEPS).
Over Rosh Pinah’s 50 year operating life the mine has processed close to 30 million tonnes and today has 16 million tonnes in resource, inclusive of reserves, with several advanced exploration targets ready to drill.