Frontier Mining reiterates that its Baitimir project in northeast Kazakhstan is viable following a study from consultant Wardell Armstrong. Baitimir lies within the Naimanjal licence and includes the Baitimir, Yubileiny and Beschoku copper deposits.

Wardell Armstrong’s study produced a post-tax value between US$17 million and US$67 million with discount rates between 8% and 20%, respectively, and based on income recovery of copper, silver, gold, magnetite and molybdenum.

A base case discount of 10% produced an NPV of US$53 million, calculated before funding and debt service costs. The Baitemir and Beschoku projects’ internal return rate was 40% with a payback period of 2.73 years. Mine life cash operating costs were forecast at US$10.01 per tonne of oxide ore processed and US$19.79 per tonne of sulphide ore.

“Baitimir is an attractive project with robust economics,” say company officials. “Frontier will keep all options open to the optimal development strategy.” The miner’s flagship project is Benkala, a copper project also in Kazakhstan.

Since Frontier’s strategy advancing Baitimir studies is identical to that in 2010 for the operating Benkala mine, “this study is reliable given its confidence in the economic assumptions,” says international resource sector finance company RFC Ambrian.

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