PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Metals developer Australian Mines has secured a permanent water licence for its Flemington cobalt/nickel/scandium project, in New South Wales.
“Securing a permanent water allocation that will more than cover the current proposed scale and life of the operation at the Flemington project is another major step in progressing this project towards development,” Australian Mines MD Benjamin Bell said on Tuesday.
“As this water licence was an existing allocation, which we purchased on the open market, a future mining operation at Flemington will have no impact on the total water usage by this region.
“This was a deliberate decision by Australian Mines as we seek to minimise our project’s footprint in this rural community. For this reason, we are presently assessing renewable energy options, such as solar, to power any mining and processing operation on site.”
In addition to securing the water licence, the company has also submitted a preliminary environmental assessment to the state government. The company is also working to start a prefeasibility study on the Flemington project in the coming quarter.
A previously released scoping study estimated that the project could deliver an after-tax cash flow of A$677-million over the first 18 years of operation. The operation is expected to produce 50 t scandium oxide from a 100 000 t/y plant, with the mine to produce at rates of between 90 000 t/y and 100 000 t/y run-of-mine feed.
Over the 18-year mine plan, the Flemington operation could deliver as much as 1.68-million tonnes of ore from the 3.3-million tonnes of ore available.