A review of the economic model for Galileo Resources Plc's Star Zinc project in Zambia estimated a net present value of US$18 million, at a 10% discount, and an internal rate of return of 77% at a current zinc price of US$3,000 per tonne.
CapEx was pegged at US$9.1 million with payback in one year.
The conceptual study is based on open pit mining from the near-surface deposit and incorporated a mineral resource of 250,000 tonnes at 20% zinc for a mine life of six years.
"Our initial review suggests that the Project could potentially be developed as a viable stand-alone project without adding further to the resource," CEO Colin Bird said in an Oct. 4 statement. "However, we believe that the resource could potentially be much bigger and therefore a large proportion of our exploration will focus on increasing the size of project resource and contained zinc metal."
The company plans to start a fast-track drilling program to upgrade the current resource and assess the potential of increasing its size.
Drilling is expected to cost about US$350,000, which will be funded from the company's own cash reserves.