Watch the Nova Minerals Scoping Study Webinar recorded March 2, 2022. Passcode: +Z!rLI5u
On 28 February 2022, the Company released its starter pit scoping study on the Korbel Gold Project. The Study represents a snapshot in time focused only on the Korbel Main Deposit, and while constrained by the amount of Indicated Resources available from a single ore source, the Study highlights the potential for Korbel Main to support a large stand-alone, bulk tonnage open pit mining operation, with ideal ore body geometry that allows mining at a very low strip ratio over the 15 year evaluation period.
The Scoping Study provided a CAPEX figure for a Centralised Processing Facility at Korbel which provides exceptional flexibility to schedule feed from numerous ore sources that will ultimately come online as we continue to develop the Estelle Gold Trend.
No need to be upgraded for an increase to feed capacity size!
While this ore feed will initially mainly come from the Korbel Main and high-grade RPM North Deposits, where we have existing resources that will come online sooner in the production profile as studies are completed, later it is anticipated that ore feed will also come from some of the other 19 exciting prospects across the Estelle Gold Trend. It is expected that minimal extra capital expenditure will be required, mainly going towards material haulage infrastructure to bring in ore from sources across the Project area to the centralised Korbel Plant site.
The Study confirms the viability of a stand-alone gold operation at the Korbel Main Deposit with a 15 year evaluation period.
Key highlights from the Scoping Study include:
- Rapid payback period of 3 years production with years 1-3 all in sustaining costs (AISC) of USD$879/oz provide robust early project returns. Study forecasts over 200,000 oz in the first year of gold production.
- Low mine strip ratio of 0.76:1 with ore sorters delivering 1.0g/t average feed grade to mill producing within the first 3 years.
- Total gold produced 1,956,000 oz with 88% gold recovery over the evaluation period, using a conventional truck and shovel mining method and mill operation.
- Attractive financial outcomes with Pre-Tax NPV5% USD$381M, Pre-tax IRR 20.4% and total period revenue of USD$3.4B, based on a USD$1,750/oz gold price.
- Average Cash Costs of USD$990/oz and AISC of USD$1,120/oz over the evaluation period.
- Estimated pre-production capital cost of 6Mt pa plant and site infrastructure of approximately USD$424M, inclusive of USD$57M mining fleet equipment (“Yellow gear”) and contingencies.
Importantly, the Scoping Study sensitivity analysis below also showed that the Project’s overall economics is highly sensitive to grade as outlined at the high-grade RPM North Deposit.
The Phase 1 Scoping Study has provided a solid platform for growth and has identified clear opportunities for improvement, the 1st of which is the inclusion of the high-grade RPM North Deposit, which has a current Inferred Resource of 23.1 Mt @ 2.0g/t Au for 1.5Moz of gold, which will now be the focus of the Company’s up coming drilling program, with the aim to increase the confidence of the resource to the higher Indicated category for inclusion in the Phase 2 Scoping Study to be delivered later this year.
Significant further upside opportunities also remain as step out extensional drilling is performed over the wider Korbel and RPM Gold Projects for inclusion in the Pre-Feasibility Study which is anticipated to be delivered later in 2023.