Image Resources said that its fully-owned Yandanooka mineral sands project in Western Australia will require an initial development capital (capex) of A$50.3m ($32.3m), based on the findings of a pre-feasibility study (PFS).

According to the study, the Yandanooka project will produce 1.04 million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate.

Located nearly 300km north of Perth in the North Perth Basin, the project is a broad, dunal-style heavy mineral sands deposit.

Image Resources said that mineral sands project will utilise dry open cut mining methods.

The current capital estimates for the project presume the relocation of the existing Boonanarring wet concentration plant to Yandanooka. It is expected to require only minor upgrades.

In addition, the PFS estimates a before-tax net present value (NPV) of A$151m ($97m) and a pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 72% with a capital payback period of 15 months.

Image Resources also aims to finalise to a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the Western Australian mineral sands project this year.

The Australian mineral sands producer said that the estimated life of mine of the project is 8.2 years.

Image Resources managing director and CEO Patrick Mutz said: “The PFS results reflect a number of positive aspects of the deposit and development plans, including very shallow mineralisation, reasonable grade, high VHM, high-value mineral assemblage and very low capital costs due to the use of existing equipment from Boonanarring.

“In addition, Yandanooka has the shortest development timeline of any of the other projects in Image’s portfolio due to fewer heritage and environmental sensitivities.”

Last year, Image Resources estimated a direct capital expenditure (capex) of A$194m based on the findings of the PFS for its fully-owned Bidaminna mineral sands project in Western Australia.