A preliminary economic assessment on the planned redevelopmentof Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.'sKipushi zinc-coppermine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pegged an after-tax net present value,at an 8% real discount rate, of US$533 million, a real internal rate of return of30.9% and a payback period of 2.2 years, according to a May 2 news release.
The company owns a 68% interest in Kipushi and state-owned minerGecamines SARL owns theremaining interest.
The study covers the redevelopment of the mine as an undergroundproject, producing an average of 530,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate annually overa 10-year mine life at a total cash cost, including copper byproduct credits, ofapproximately 54 cents per pound of zinc.
The PEA plan focuses mining Kipushi's Big Zinc Zone, which hasan estimated 10.2 million tonnes of measured and indicated mineral resources grading34.9% of zinc.
Preproduction CapEx is pegged at US$409 million, while sustainingCapEx is estimated at US$119 million.
The study leverages existing surface and underground infrastructure,which significantly lowers the redevelopment capital compared to a greenfield developmentproject, as well as the time required to reinstate production.