Rosh Pinah expansion to cost N$1.6 billion

By Hilary Mare

TORONTO-listed Trevali Mining has announced the outcome of a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the expansion of its Rosh Pinah mine, putting a price tag of approximately N$1.6 billion on its project to expand the mine, RP2.0 expansion project.

The study contemplates expanding the throughput from 0.7 million tonnes a year to 1.3 million tonnes a year through the modification of the processing plant, construction of a paste fill plant and development of a dedicated portal and ramp to the WF3 deposit.

“Over Rosh Pinah’s 50 year operating life the mine has processed close to 30-million tonnes and today we have 16 million tonnes in resource, inclusive of reserves, with several advanced exploration targets ready to drill. To match this exceptional ore body, the RP2.0 PFS recommends an 86 percent expansion to the existing production capacity by sizing the infrastructure to a nominal throughput of 1.3 million tonnes a year,” said Trevali president and CEO Ricus Grimbeek.

Rosh Pinah will be producing a yearly average of 132 million pounds of zinc, 21.8 million pounds of lead and 286 000 oz of silver.

The expansion yields an 11-year mine life and post expansion, reduces the all-in sustaining cost to an average of US$0.64/lb of zinc.

“This positions the asset well into the bottom half of the industry’s cost curve and will ensure the operation’s resilience and robustness through the commodity price cycle,” said Grimbreek.

Before making an investment decision, Trevali intends to do a feasibility study of the RP2.0 expansion in the first quarter of next year.

The current schedule is for construction to start in the first quarter of 2022 and commercial production is expected in the first half of 2023.

The PFS calculated a net present value, at 8 percent, of 142-million, free cash flow of US$238 million, an internal rate of return of 65 percent and a payback of less than four years.

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).