Image Resources said that its fully-owned Bidaminna mineral sands project in Western Australia will require a direct capital expenditure (capex) of A$194m ($129.9m), based on the findings of the pre-feasibility study (PFS).

The PFS is based on a mining inventory subset of the mineral resource estimate of 99 million tonnes at average grades of 2.7% heavy minerals and 4% slimes.

According to the study, the Bidaminna mineral sands project will produce 2.1 million tonnes of total heavy mineral concentrate.

The pre-production cost anticipated for the project is A$7m ($4.7m) and it covers environmental approvals and technical assessments.

Located within the north of the Perth Basin, the Bidaminna project contains 123 million tonnes of probable ore reserves at 1.8% total heavy minerals.

The Australian mineral sands producer said that the estimated life of mine of the project is 10.5 years.

In addition, the PFS estimates an after-tax net present value (NPV) of A$113m ($75.6m) and a post-tax internal rate of return of 20% with a capital payback period of 3.8 years.

Image Resources also aims to finalise a definitive feasibility study (DFS) or bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the mineral sands project in 2024.

The DFS will include capital and operating costs optimisation measures along with the inclusion of a mineral separation plant that is now under independent feasibility study, said the Australian company.

According to Image Resources, the mineral separation facility is likely to be located at the company’s current Boonanarring operation to leverage the existing installed infrastructure of water, power, roads, and others.