The study concluded that it is economically feasible to mine smaller, higher-grade subsets of the Bumamani and Kwale North Dune deposits to extend Kwale mine life
Base Resources has completed a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on potential for mining higher grade subsets of the Bumamani and Kwale North Dune deposits in Kenya.
The PFS is aimed at supporting the extension of mine life at its 100% owned and operated mineral sands operations in Kwale County, Kenya.
Bumamani PFS concluded that it is economically feasible to mine smaller, higher-grade subsets of the Bumamani and Kwale North Dune deposits, supporting the extension of the mine life of Kwale operations by 7.5 months to July 2024.
The company said that the mine life extension would provide additional time for it to develop further opportunities within Kenya, while maintaining operational continuity.
Also, a definitive feasibility study is currently being conducted to improve the accuracy of project estimates.
The PFS estimated the capital cost at $13.6m for the acquisition of land and the additional mine services and infrastructure that will be required.
Furthermore, mining operations are planned to use existing hydraulic mining units relocated from the South Dune and process the mined material through existing concentrator and mineral separation plants at Kwale Operations.
Base Resources stated: “Estimated 11.4 million tonnes of material to be mined to produce an estimated 34,000 tonnes of rutile, 113,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 13,000 tonnes of zircon.”
Bumamani PFS follows an earlier PFS on larger subsets of the North Dune and Bumamani deposits.
The PFS concluded that mining was not viable due to low combined heavy mineral grade, high upfront capital costs, high slimes content and related tailings disposal costs.
Bumamani and North Dune deposits are located within Kwale Prospecting Licence (PL119), but outside Special Mining Lease 23 (SML 23).
The North Dune Mineral Resources are estimated at 194 million tonnes (Mt) at an average heavy mineral (HM) grade of 1.5% for 2.9Mt of contained HM.
The Bumamani Mineral Resources are estimated at 5.9Mt at an average HM grade of 1.9% for 0.115 Mt of contained HM.