Nimba Development

West Africa Exploration SA, a joint venture between CGH and its Guinean based partner Nimba Mining, completed a preliminary feasibility study for the development of a mine in eastern Guinea that will produce iron ore lump (50%) and fines (35%) based on the current estimated resource of 178.4Mt at the Nimba Iron Ore Project. The mining operation will be staged with production commencing at a rate of 1.5Mtpa in 2016 for the first year, and increasing to 3Mtpa in the second year.

Key findings of the PFS:

Production Rate 3Mtpa
  • Life of Mine
+25 years
Capital cost to production $299.3 million

Operating costs:

FOB Port Buchanan (Panamax direct loading - Europe)

FOB Port Buchanan (Transhipment plus Capesize - Asia)

 

$44/t

$49/t

Product quality 61.6% Fe
Lump : Fines : LG fines ratio 50% : 35% : 15%
Strip ratio (waste : ore) 0.1 : 1

Production ramp-up

Year 1

Year 2

 

1.5Mtpa

3.0Mtpa

 

Development Concept:

The development concept for Nimba envisages a staged development and production build up approach with a production ramp-up of DSO targeting the upper consolidated material to produce a high quality lump and fines product based on:

• Two mobile plants to produce 3Mtpa of lump and fines DSO product;
• An open pit, truck and shovel mining from multiple open pits for selective mining and blending;
• Road haul from the mining operation located on P2 & P3 on the south-east of Mount Nimba, to a transfer yard near Yekepa in Liberia approximately 65km from the mine, where the DSO ore will be stockpiled and loaded onto rail wagons;
• Rail from Yekepa along 18km refurbished rail section to connect to the existing shared rail line at Tokedah to Port Buchanan;
• Port stockpiling and ship loading at Buchanan;
• The project study provides for supporting infrastructure at the mine, camp, transport route and port.

Nimba general mine layout for the initial 3Mtpa DSO production build-up


Proof of Concept

 

Table A. Product specification for the Nimba DSO production operation, including comparison with competitor product specifications and the three major fines index

Product % Fe % SiO2 % AL2O3 S+A+ % P % LOI
CGH Nimba Lump* 63.0 - 63.5 2.0 - 2.5 2.0 - 2.5 4.5 - 5.5 0.06 - 0.08 5.0 - 6.0
MAC lump# 62.4 3.1 1.3 4.4 0.07 5.9
NHGL# 63.6 4.0 1.4 5.4 0.07 3.2
Sesa Goa~ 62.7 2.5 2.5 5.0 0.03  
Sesa Goa~ 61.3 3.0 3.3 6.3 0.05  
CGH Nimba fines 61.0 - 62.0 2.5 - 3.0 2.5 - 2.8 5.0 - 5.5 0.06 - 0.07 5.0 - 5.5
MAC fines# 61.0 4.0 2.2 6.2 0.08 6.0
NHGF# 62.7 4.3 2.3 6.6 0.08 3.3
Sesa Goa~ 63.3 3.0 2.5 5.5 0.06  
Sesa Goa~ 61.3 4.5 3.0 7.5 0.06  
Carajas~ 64.7 2.8 1.1 3.9 0.03 2.2
Index            
Platts 62%~ 62 4.5 2.0 6.5 0.08  
TSI 62%~ 62 4.0 3.5 7.5 0.07  
MB 62%~ 62 3.5 2.0 5.5 0.05 4.7

Table is based on estimated lump and fines from metallurgic testwork, selective mining and resource modelling as of July 2013.

#data from BHPB 2012 product specification

+silica plus alumina

*fines grade estimated before benefication

~ company website