Temas Resources Corp. (“Temas” or the “Company”) (CSE: TMAS) and their partner Erin Ventures Inc. (TSXV: EV) are pleased to report positive results of an Independent Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Piskanja boron project located in Serbia.
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All values in this news release are reported in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted
Assumed price/t (colemanite 40% B2O3) for LOM: US$500
Assumed price/t (boric acid, technical grade) for LOM: US$700
Units expressed in metric tonnes
The basis for the PEA is the Mineral Resource Estimate prepared by Prof. Miodrag Banješević PhD. P.Geo, EurGeol.
The updated Mineral Resource Statement generated for the Piskanja Project is as followings:
Reported at a cut-off grade of 12 percent B2O3, at a minimum mining thickness of 1.2 m, considering reasonable underground mining, processing and selling technical parameters and costs benchmark against similar borate projects and a selling price of US$700/tonne (boric acid) and US$500/tonne (colemanite 40% B2O3). All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have a demonstrated economic viability. The contained B2O3 represents estimated contained metal in the groundand has not been adjusted for metallurgical recovery, and may have discrepancies due to rounding.
SUMMARY OF PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT
The PEA was prepared independently under the supervision of Prof. Miodrag Banješević PhD. P.Geo, EurGeol, with contributions from Prof. Saša Stojadinović PhD. (mining engineer). The PEA was prepared in accordance with the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 and is based on the Mineral Resource Estimate for Piskanja with an effective date of June 24, 2022 (see “Mineral Resource” above).
Project economics were estimated assuming a constant price of US$500/t for sales-grade colemanite (40% purity) and US$700/t for boric acid. The PEA will present a complete list of assumptions. Capital and operating cost estimates were prepared based on current and expected long-term pricing assumptions and to a PEA level +/- 35% level of accuracy.
In summary, the Project has a post-tax LOM net project cashflow (pre-finance) of some US$1.21 billion which returns a post-tax NPV (10%) of US$524.9 million and an IRR of 78.7%. The following table presents the summary LOM cash flow resulting from the Technical Economic Model.
The following table shows the pre- and post-tax NPVs at varying discount rates. (USD’000). The base case discount rate of 10% returns a NPV of US$553.9M pre-tax and US$524.9M post-tax.
The following table shows the effect on the post-tax NPV10 at varying revenue, opex, capex, and material price levels (from -50% to +50%):
The following table illustrates the projected Post-tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) sensitivity of the Piskanja
project to Operating Cost and Capital Cost variations.
The table below illustrates the Post-tax NPV variability with changing Operating Cost and Revenue estimates.
A more complete set of sensitivity tables are available within the PEA.
Tim Daniels, President of Erin Ventures commented on the PEA results: “The robust results in the Piskanja PEA confirm what we have always believed – that Piskanja has the potential to be amongst the most impressive boron properties globally. Piskanja joins a very small group of study-backed, development stage boron assets in the world. Piskanja has several attributes that make it attractive for development including stout economics, strong value metrics and the potential for rapid returns with low capital investment. Additionally, Piskanja’s projected low operating cost enhances the likelihood of profitability even in the weakest of boron market scenarios. The results of the PEA, combined with the potential for resource expansion, excellent existing local infrastructure, and a favourable mineral mix, make it a truly outstanding and unique project.
The geometry and depth of the mineralisation identified at Piskanja lends itself to an underground mining method. It is envisaged that mining will be by cut and fill method and that the key underground infrastructure will comprise:
The PEA envisages a Run of Mine (ROM) average annual tonnage of 307,956 tonnes to produce some 261,821 tonnes of sale grade colemanite and 25,000 tonnes of boric acid for a period of 17 years.
Excavation is currently proposed by mechanical cutting using Continuous Miners (“CM”). The rationale of the application of mechanical cutting, as opposed to drill and blast operations, is the need to minimize ground vibrations which may affect the residential structures and cause annoyance to the residents of the nearby village, Korlace. Similarly, the application of any caving mining methods or any mining methods which could cause ground subsidence is, at present moment, excluded from further considerations.
Material mined by the CMs would be hauled by shuttles or battery haulers to the nearest ore pass/ore bin and fed to the panel conveyor at the main haulage horizon. The panel conveyor would then haul the mined material to the main ore pass/ore bunker. The main ore pass has two functions: i) to reduce the mined material tonnes to the Main Haulage Decline and feed it to the Main belt conveyor and ii) to serve as a temporary ore storage/stockpile. Once fed to the main belt conveyor, the material is conveyed to the surface and fed to the ore processing system.
In order to achieve an overall planned mining recovery of 75% and ensure the stability of excavated spaces, it will be necessary to apply solidifying material for backfill and further geotechnical assessment including an assessment of the geometry, rock strength, and backfill characteristics will be required.
All ROM production is to be fed to the Colemanite Plant for colemanite production with the aim of upgrading mined materials to desired concentrate levels of B2O3. A constant product grade of 40% B2O3 and a tails grade of 7.5% B2O3 is planned.
The operating plan calls for the production of both colemanite concentrate and boric acid, the latter at a rate of 25 ktpa, and the former at a rate of approximately 250 ktpa. This production scenario has been modelled according to the process route shown in block form. It should be noted that further metallurgical test work is required to finalize the process flowsheet. However, the process flowsheet for B2O3 mineralized material beneficiation is well documented, shows that the process utilizes “off the shelf” technology, and is in fact commonly deployed in Turkish boron mines.
According to available data from Turkey, the concentration of colemanite mineralization is carried out by crushing and grinding, washing and classification in the size fractions. For larger size fractions, colemanite concentrate is produced through attrition tumbling and hand sorting, while for finer size fractions (–6 mm), attrition scrubbing and classification are carried out. At Emet Mine in Turkey, a colemanite concentration plant with a capacity of 600,000 tons per year processes colemanite ore of 27% B2O3 to produce 300,000 tons of concentrate averaging 43% B2O3 using the above described method.
The production of boric acid is also a well-documented process with readily available technology used by several producers globally.
CAPITAL and OPERATING COSTS
A breakdown of the capital and operating costs used in the economic analysis is presented in the tables below.
Project Capital Costs [expended over a 24 month development period]
Unit Operating Costs (USD/t)