Peak Resources delivers robust PFS for Ngualla making it one of the largest and highest grade rare earth deposits in the world
March 31, 2014 – Darren Townsend, Managing Director for Peak Resources Ltd. (‘Peak’, ASX: PEK | OTCQX: PKRLY) speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel, about the recently issued pre-feasibility study (PFS), which has no doubt contributed to a recent uptrend in the share price.
Darren attributes the success of the PFS to Peak’s effective in-house capabilities characterized by great ‘teamwork’ and input from a few outside consultants: “The highlight is just the quality of the resource, reserve, the 58 year mine life, spitting out about 121 million dollars a year…any sort of long life project like that is pretty good. And I think the most important thing probably is the CAPEX. As we all know, in these challenging financing climates, to be able to get your initial CAPEX down is absolutely critical.” Peak’s scoping study suggested a 373 million dollar CAPEX. Since then and as part of the PFS, Darren stressed that they knocked down the CAPEX to 367 million but this figure also includes a previously unaccounted 30% contingency, so “we actually knocked 90 odd million off the underlying CAPEX number”. Tracy brings attention to the PFS’s surprisingly quick projected payback period, which is will be in the third year. Darren adds that the 39% rate of return is also favorable.
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As for an overview of the Ngualla Project itself, which has been rather “under the radar” for North American investors, Darren explains that it was a virgin discovery in 2010 and that it has only taken four years to go from discovery to PFS suggesting that the Peak team has done a lot of “good work in a very short period of time”. Darren specifically credits the talents of technical director Dave Hammond and metallurgical specialist Gavin Beer. The Ngualla project is located in southwestern Tanzania, which, as Darren notes, is a “very good mining jurisdiction in Africa; it is the actually the third largest gold mining country in Africa. So it has some good mining laws that were updated in 2010.”
The Ngualla Project itself also offers metallurgical advantages given the fact that the deposits have shown a mineralization, bastnaesite – typically rich in lanthanum, cerium and most importantly in yttrium – with very little uranium and thorium content, which eases processing and reduces capital cost requirements. Darren said he expects production to begin in mid-2017. Meanwhile, in 2014, Peak will be working toward concluding discussion with some strategic partners: “we’ve got an MOU already in place with a Chinese group, so we’re continuing with those discussions and the phone after the last set of results, as you can imagine, has been ringing pretty hot so we look forward to opening other discussions with progressing the project as rapidly as we can”.
Peak’s Ngualla deposit has a maiden mineral resource of 170 million tons at 2.24% REO, making it one of the largest and highest grade rare earth deposits in the world.
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