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Platina estimates US$166M value, 30-year life for namesake scandium project

Platina Resources Ltd. said Dec. 13 that a definitive feasibility study on the Platina scandium project in New South Wales, Australia, estimated a posttax net present value, at an 8% discount, of US$166 million, with an internal rate of return of 29%.

The study is based on a scandium oxide price of US$1,550 per kilogram and a combined proven and probable ore reserve of 4.0 million dry tonnes grading 570 parts per million of scandium, 0.12% nickel and 0.09% cobalt at a 450 ppm scandium cutoff at the Red Heart mine.

The project's stage-one capital cost estimate is US$48.1 million, while stage-two is estimated at US$11.1 million, with an expected payback period of 5.3 years. The project is expected to produce 20 tonnes of scandium oxide per year over a 30-year life of mine for stage-one, growing to 40 tonnes per year starting on the fifth year.

CapEx for the total life of project is at US$104.1 million and life-of-mine average cash operating costs of US$525 per kilogram.

Platina noted that the study confirmed the technical and financial viability of constructing a low-strip ratio, open-cut mining operation and processing facility producing scandium oxide. Ore mined at Red Heart will be processed through a conventional high pressure acid leach circuit to produce high purity scandium oxide.

The company said that it is now focused on the environmental impact assessment, mining license and development applications, as well as securing offtake financing for the project.

In August, Artemis Resources Ltd. formed a joint venture with Platina for a 70% interest over the Munni Munni platinum group metals project in Western Australia.