|The outline of the nickel laterite deposit at the Agata North project.|
THE Agata Mining Joint Venture of TVI Pacific, Mindoro Resources and TVI’s Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils), (TVIRD) has received the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) which authorizes the JV to proceed to development of the Agata project in Agusan del Norte, Mindanao. This allows for extraction and sale of iron, nickel and other associated minerals in the contract area.
The JV has also received clearance to develop a port facility for the proposed direct shipping ore (DSO) operation of the high-iron laterite resources at Agata.
Site development was expected to commence during the second quarter with shipping of the high-iron laterite expected to start in the third quarter, subject to receipt of remaining port approvals and financing.
The DMPF, granted by the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau, confirms that the JV has complied with requirements of approval, which include, among other things:
- Provision of a Mining Project Feasibility Study Report;
- Receipt of an Environmental Compliance Certificate;
- Provision of a three-year Development and/or Utilization Program;
- Provision of an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, and Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan; and,
- Proof of technical competence and financial capability.
- Clearance to develop a private non-commercial port facility has been received from the Philippine Ports Authority. Construction may commence upon securing the permit to construct, the application for which has commenced and will be followed also by an application for the permit to operate.
- On September 10, 2013, TVIRD and Mindoro completed an NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study indicating robust economics for a DSO operation of the high-iron laterite resources at the Agata project. The feasibility study concluded:
- Low initial start-up capital of US$10.1 million, high Internal Rate of Return of 187% and payback within first year of operation;
- Post-tax Net Present Value (10% discount) of US$37.9 million;
- DSO product to grade 48% iron and 0.9% nickel - a product in consistent demand;
- Shipping rates to accelerate to 2.5 million wet metric tonnes (wmt) per annum in 2015.
The NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate for the Agata Nickel Project, released on April 10, 2013, shows the DSO project to have reported proven and probable reserves of 9.70 million wmt.
During the first quarter of 2014 TVI Pacific completed its last shipments of copper concentrate and zinc concentrate from its Canatuan project as ore reserves from the open pit had been exhausted. Final milling operations through January averaged a daily throughput of 3068 dmt for a total of 46,026 tonnes in the month.
Decommissioning and rehabilitation activities within the disturbed areas then commenced with initial focus on decommissioning of plant and equipment within the mill and processing plant area and continuation of rehabilitation within the overburden waste areas.