Australian gold miner St Barbara said that its fully owned 15 Mile gold project located in Nova Scotia, Canada will require initial capital costs (capex) of C$182m ($133.8m) based on the findings of a pre-feasibility study (PFS).

Ausenco Engineering Canada led the PFS with support from Moose Mountain Technical Services for the mine design aspects of the study.

The initial capex includes mine pre-production, mine fleet, processing, and infrastructure such as roads, power distribution, tailings facility, ancillary buildings, and water management.

According to the PFS, the sustaining costs of the Canadian gold project are C$76m ($55.9m) over the life of mine. The closure costs of the project are estimated to be C$68m ($50.02m).

The average annual gold production at the 15 Mile gold project during the 11-year life of mine is projected to be between 55koz and 60koz.

St Barbara said that the Canadian gold project will be mined using a conventional drill, blast, and haul setup. The mine has four open pits, namely Egerton-Maclean, Plenty, Hudson, and 149.

Located approximately 40km northeast of the Touquoy mine, the gold project was previously known as the Fifteen Mile Stream gold project.

The 15 Mile project has been transformed from producing flotation and gravity concentrates to delivering gold dore bars through conventional gravity and carbon in leach cyanidation techniques.

According to St Barbara, the modification of the project design will enable the reuse of the existing Touquoy processing plant.

The PFS estimates an after-tax net present value (NPV) of C$174m ($128m) for the Canadian gold project.

It also projects a post-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.3% for the 15 Mile gold project with an after-tax payback period of 4.3 years.

The company now intends to focus on preparation of updated environmental and social impact assessment for the new design of the 15 Mile project.

St Barbara managing director and CEO Andrew Strelein said: “With this strong PFS result, St Barbara will now focus on preparation of an updated environmental and social impact assessment for this new standalone design of the 15 Mile Project.

“St Barbara is looking forward to working with Nova Scotia to create hundreds of well paid rural jobs and to remediating the historical tailings at the site.

“The Feasibility Study engineering is intended to be ramped up as we see progress towards Environmental Approval with commencement of development entirely achievable in mid calendar 2026.”