Australian Mines: Potentially the world’s largest scandium producer
Australian Mines Ltd, listed...
An emerging Australian base metals mine exploration company announces a new COO to cement its plans to be a global leader.
Australian Mines Ltd, listed on the ASX, has a strategic mission to become a “global leader in scandium production”.
Scandium-reinforced aluminium allows represent a “new generation” of high performance alloys that have been proven to display numerous advantages over high strength aluminium alloys.
According to data obtained from the company, the market demand for scandium is anticipated to grow by at least 800% over the next 10 years.
This is where the Sconi Project comes into play.
Australian Mines entered a joint venture agreement with Metallica Minerals in 2016, to work on the Sconi Project.
Encompassing five deposits, the sconi project as a total of 12 million tonnes of scandium oxide in resources.
The Sconi project also has a combined nickel and mineral resource of 89 million tonnes, which translates into 514,000 tonnes of contained nickel metal and 54,000 tonnes of contained cobalt metal.
Through a pre-feasibility study, Australian Mines has confirmed that the project is an economic and technically viable mining project, with the capability to produce 50 tonnes of high purity scandium oxide per year, over a 20-year mine life.
This works out at an average of $59 million of net income, with interest, taxes depreciation and amortization added back to it.
“A mining operation at Sconi has the potential to become the world’s largest surce of this critical metal,” said the company in a statement.
Just last week the company announced that it had appointed a new Chief Operating Officer in Tim Maclean, who brings with him over 25 years’ experience in building and operating nickel processing plants for some of the world’s biggest miners, including Vale, Rio Tinto and Alcoa.
Managing Director Benjamin Bell said, “We are very pleased to have attracted an operations executive of the calibre and experience of Tim Maclean. I look forward to working closely with Tim as we develop our portfolio of world class assets, with an initial focus on the successful delivery of the demonstration plant and production of saleable cobalt sulphate, nickel sulphate and scandium oxide samples to progress our negotiations with potential customers.”
“Tim will provide valuable input as we continue our Bankable Feasibility Study on Sconi and prepare for a Pre-Feasibility Study on Flemington, following the recent completion of the extension drilling program that was designed to better define the project’s cobalt and nickel resource, as well as potentially upgrade and extend the existing scandium resource.”
Barrick profit beats expectations as copper, gold prices up
Barrick Gold has reported a 78% jump in first-quarter profit, beating analyst expectations thanks to rising gold and copper prices, and said it was on track to meet annual forecasts.
Production in the second half is expected to be higher than the first, the gold miner said, thanks in part to the ramp-up of underground mining at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania and higher expected grades at Lumwana in Zambia, reports Reuters
Barrick’s first-quarter gold production fell to 1.10 million from 1.25 million ounces due partly to lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in Dominican Republic.
Adjusted profit surged 78% to $507mn in the quarter ended March 31, from $285mn a year earlier, and Barrick announced a 9 cent per share quarterly dividend.
Stronger prices helped boost Barrick’s revenue from its copper mines in Chile, Saudi Arabia and Zambia by 31% from the fourth quarter. Overall earnings per share were $0.29, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $0.27.
“We expect a positive stock reaction to the earnings beat and strong cash flow,” said Credit Suisse analysts.
Potential for South Africa merger
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who has championed mergers across the gold industry, said he backed the idea of South Africa-listed miners Goldfields and AngloGold Ashanti combining.
Speculation has been swirling around the two companies and Sibanye-Stillwater, whose CEO Neal Froneman floated the idea of a three-way merger.
“I’m a South African, and this country has such a great mining history and it would be great to see a real gold business come out of the many failed discussions that we’ve seen,” said Bristow.
Goldfields declined to comment. In a statement, AngloGold Ashanti said it was focused on delivering on its growth plan to unlock value from its portfolio of gold assets.
Bristow also said he had met with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new mines minister and other officials and was continuing to work on getting $900mn belonging to its Kibali mine joint venture out of the country.
“We have a solution, it just needs to be sanctioned by the appropriate authorities which haven’t been around for a while,” he said, referring to a recent government overhaul by President Felix Tshisekedi.