An independent scoping study on optimized plans for Platina Resources Ltd.'s Owendale scandium-cobalt-nickel property in New South Wales, Australia, reduced initial CapEx by 59% to US$38.5 million by using "off the shelf" components, offshore supply and a scaled modular plant design.
A pre-feasibility study completed in July had pegged the upfront CapEx at US$94 million.
The new strategy includes a 55% decrease in throughput, from 50,000 tonnes per year to 22,570 t/y, and a 52% decrease in scandium oxide production from 42 t/y to 20 t/y. In addition, average annual cash operating costs are expected to drop by 32%, from US$23 million to US$15.6 million.
Platina completed an updated resource estimate in early August, increasing higher-grade scandium resources at Owendale by 127%, followed by an initial reserves estimate in September.
The company noted in its Dec. 18 release that the current study uses similar assumptions as the one completed in July, with the throughput rate reduced as a result of the initial reserves study and nickel and cobalt recovery removed from stage-one processing.
A work program related to a definitive feasibility study will continue in the first half of 2018.