Genmin's 100% owned Baniaka Iron Ore Project (Baniaka) is located in south-east Gabon and comprises the Baniaka and Baniaka West exploration licences, which cover a total area of 881km2. Baniaka is Genmin’s most advanced project and exploration since 2013 has defined a cumulative strike length of 85km of iron mineralisation, which has been subdivided into 12 prospect areas.
Genmin is currently preparing a Mining Permit Application (MPA) for Baniaka. The MPA is supported by technical and commercial feasibility studies together with a social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA). With these work streams almost complete, the Company anticipates submission of the MPA by the end of Q1 2023.
On 16 November 2022, Genmin released the positive results of the Baniaka PFS to the market.
Preliminary Feasibility Study
The PFS examined the development of a scalable 5Mtpa, truck and shovel, shallow, free dig contract open pit mining operation over an initial 10-year mine life to produce greener, high value-in-use Lump and Fines iron ore products. Run-of-mine (ROM) detrital iron deposits (DID) and Soft Oxide (SO) ore is beneficiated through a simple, low risk wet ore treatment flowsheet comprising scrubbing, screening and gravity separation.
Finer spiral circuit discard is filtered, added to coarse rejects and placed in an engineered valley fill storage facility. The Company has designed a solution that does not require a wet tailings storage facility, which is consistent with its ESG values.
The Project is based on leveraging off access to existing regional hydroelectricity from the Grand Poubara Hydropower Station (Grand Poubara), and rail (Trans-Gabon Railway, TGR) and port (Owendo Mineral Port) infrastructure. This meant that only an overhead power transmission line and connecting transport infrastructure from Baniaka to the TGR needed to be considered in respect of engineering design and funding.
Ranking several scenarios (truck haulage and rail spur either Company or third party financed) through impact on net present value showed, at 5Mtpa, road haulage to a new load out rail terminal located near Franceville was the best outcome. Consequently, the initial phase of Baniaka will be executed via road haulage to the TGR, with the construction of a rail spur deferred to a later date.
At steady state, Baniaka is expected to employ up to 400 people and over the life of this initial mining phase, contribute US$602 million to Gabon in production royalties (US$206 million) and corporate income tax (US$396 million).
Pursuant to Gabon’s Mining Code, 20% of State production royalties are invested in the local community, and in addition Genmin has set aside up to 0.5% of gross revenue for Company administered community development programmes.
Highlights of the PFS results, and the Baniaka Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) are listed below. For full details of the PFS Mineral Resources, Ore Reserves, capital and operating costs, financial metrics, sensitivity analysis, project delivery and operations, and opportunities and risks, please click here to access the Executive Summary released to the ASX on 16 November 2022.
- Global MRE for Baniaka increased to 760Mt representing just 15km (18%) of the interpreted 85km strike extent
- DID and SO Indicated MRE of 168Mt underpin the PFS, representing only 22% of the Global MRE
- Maiden DID and SO Probable Ore Reserve estimate of 101Mt provides ROM feed for an initial 10-year mine life at a 5Mtpa production rate
- Conventional, proven truck and shovel open pit mining operation with low-risk wet scrubbing, screening, and gravity separation ore treatment flowsheet
- ESG focus with clean, renewable hydroelectricity, no tailings dam (filter and dry stack into an engineered valley fill), and up to 0.5% of gross revenue allocated to community development
- Initial capital investment of approximately US$200 million for 5Mtpa name plate capacity and associated infrastructure, including full ownership of strategic and dedicated power transmission line from Grand Poubara and rail loadout facility connected to the TGR near Franceville
- Average cash cost of US$59 per dry metric tonne (dmt) inclusive of mine gate, road haulage, rail and port, and transhipment costs to Cape class vessels
- Positive project economics on a real, ungeared, 100% equity basis:
- Opportunities to enhance returns include selling a separate higher value Pellet Feed product (assumed mixed with the Fines in the PFS), and increasing scale to 10Mtpa as soon as project build debt funding permits
- Final investment decision expected in Q2-2023, however pre-development works commenced with Bond Equipment awarded US$0.5 million first stage detailed design and engineering contract for the processing facility
Baniaka Mineral Resources