Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 26 of 115

REGIONAL NEWS - AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA DECEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 25 FEEDING Koodaideri Phase 1 will help sustain Rio Tinto's existing production capacity by replacing depletion elsewhere in the system. The project will increase the high- er-value lump component of the Pilbara Blend, subject to market conditions, from the current average of about 35% to around 38%, the company said. It is expected to deliver an internal rate of return of 20% and capital intensity of around $60 per mt of annual capacity, highly competitive for a new mine considering the additional in- frastructure of rail spur, airport, camp and road access required. The operation has been designed to utilize an increased level of automation and digitization, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine, which is expected to be Rio Tinto's lowest cost contributor to its industry benchmark Pilbara Blend product. Through the use of digital assets, advanced data analytics and automation, the company expects to significantly enhance the operation and maintenance of this new mine. Throughout the construction period, Rio Tinto expects to employ more than 2,000 people with 600 permanent roles created once the mine is operational. TNG Awards FEED Contract for Mount Peake Project TNG Ltd. has awarded SMS Group with a contract for a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study of TNG's Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in Australia's Northern Territory. The project is based on open-pit mining of a deposit that has estimated concentrator feed ma- terial totaling an 81 million mt at an av- erage grade of 0.37% V 2 O 5 , 6.87% TiO 2 , and 26.38% Fe. SMS Group is a German company, headquartered in Düsseldorf. The Mount Peake mine is located in south-central Northern Territory about 1,250 km south of Darwin. Magnetite concentrate produced at the mine will be trucked about 100 km to a rail siding and shipped north to a TIVAN downstream processing plant 10 km from Darwin Port for production of V 2 O 5 , titanium pigment, and Fe 2 O 3 end products. TIVAN is a patented TNG process for vanadium extraction that avoids com- plex and capex-intensive chloride bal- ancing and operates with a significantly smaller acid-regeneration circuit. SMS's mandate includes all process plant and equipment required for the Mount Peake project, including the concentrator and the TIVAN plant. Additionally, SMS will provide TNG with a proposal for a fixed-price Engi- neering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract, which will include pro- duction quantities, production rate and product quality guarantees. TNG's Managing Director Paul Burton said, "We are extremely pleased to have achieved this outcome with SMS Group, including a comprehensive mandate to produce a fixed-price EPC proposal for the development and construction of the entire Mount Peake project. Having SMS also assume technical and product guar- antees under the resulting EPC arrange- ment significantly de-risks the project and marks one of the most significant milestones its development history." The utilization of a single contractor for both the concentrator and processing plant is expected to provide further sup- port for TNG's strategy for sourcing proj- ect debt financing from Australia's Export Credit Agency. SMS has provided ongoing technical and strategic support to TNG with many aspects of the Mount Peake project, in- cluding metallurgical test work, flowsheet verification, financial modeling, and con- tributions to an updated definitive feasi- bility study published in November 2017. The definitive feasibility study estimat- ed life-of-mine Mount Peake end-product production at 243,000 mt of V 2 O 5 , 3.5 million mt of titanium pigment, and 10.6 million mt of Fe 2 O 3 over a mine life of 17 years. Those totals may be modified by the current FEED study. Under current planning, the TIVAN plant will have initial design capacity to treat 900,000 mt/y of magnetite concen- trate. The updated Mount Peake definitive feasibility study estimated preproduction capital expenditure of A$853 million, including all infrastructure, access/haul roads, mining, rail works, camp, water supply, concentrator, tailings dam, TIVAN plant, and port handling costs. The study also included a proposal for a Stage Two project expansion to in- crease maximum TIVAN plant through- put to 1.8 million mt/y in production year five. The capacity of the concentra- tor and process plant would also double. Stage 2 capex costs were estimated at A$969 million and would be paid out of operating revenue.

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