Rare earth ‘grade leader’ Peak Resources’ gains 30% in share price on new beneficiation process
August 19, 2014 — Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel speaks to Darren Townsend, Managing Director for Peak Resources Ltd. (‘Peak’, ASX: PEK) about the recently announced beneficiation breakthrough at the Ngualla Project in Tanzania. This, no doubt, contributed to Peak gaining almost 30% in share price in the span of a month. Darren mentioned the low CAPEX, as outlined in the Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS), which is critical in the current tough financing climate. Peak has been working continuously to bring the CAPEX down as much as possible and it has developed a new beneficiation process that Darren says will ensure low capital and operating costs.
The savings come in the form of an improved concentrate, reaching 34.4% rare earth oxide, which, Darren adds, gives the Ngualla Project a distinct advantage over other rare earths projects. The bastnaesite ore at Ngualla “is naturally very low in phosphate and also carbonate minerals, which has been removed through weathering, so the only thing that consumes acid is the iron levels,” which gave been already reduced by 25% from the previous concentrate. This produce cost savings as the Company can rely on smaller leach tanks and lower acid consumption, which translate to reduced CAPEX and operating costs. Moreover, less iron means less sulphuric acid consumption in the leaching process.
The Ngualla Project is located in southwestern Tanzania, which is one of the best mining jurisdictions in Africa. It is rich in the currently high demand ‘magnet metals’ such as neodymium and praseodymium. Peak has also entered discussions with strategic partners, having entered talks to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Chinese group. China is indeed interested in East African minerals and several Chinese mining firms want to secure positions in projects in Tanzania, which is an ideal area for export logistics to China. The MOU in question is likely to continue pursuing the processing and beneficiation of the Ngualla resource. Peak has also talked to interested parties in the Middle East and Europe, said Darren, who adds that he aims to “get the financing for the Company in place with a strategic partner in order to move to the bankable feasibility study as quickly as possible.”
Disclaimer: Peak Resources is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.
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Adrian Nixon is a Senior Editor at InvestorIntel. He began his career as a scientist and is a Chartered Chemist and Member of the Royal ... <Read more about Adrian Nixon>