Centrex powers ahead with phosphate plant completion
Special Report: Emerging phosphate producer Centrex Metals has ticked another box on its path to first production with the completion of the start-up plant at its Ardmore project in Queensland.
The 70-tonne-per-hour (tph) modular plant will be used to ship concentrate to several targeted long-term offtake customers to validate the premium product coming out of Ardmore.
These trial shipments will be integral to securing long-term offtake contracts to underpin the financing required for full scale operations at Ardmore, with development currently slated for late in 2020.
“We are very pleased with progress at Ardmore and in particular the fact that the team has erected the start-up plant while maintaining the highest of safety standards,” CEO Simon Slesarewich said.
The start-up plant can be readily upgraded to 140tph, enabling Centrex to meet its targeted production of 800,000 tonnes per annum.
The optimised definitive feasibility study released in February this year demonstrates very favourable project economics for Ardmore with a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of $269m and an ungeared pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 63 per cent.
IRR and NPV are used to estimate the profitability of a potential operation – the higher they are above zero, the better they are.
The project has an initial mine life of 10 years, with the potential to extend that with further exploration.
As well as being blessed with a high-grade resource that has low impurities, Ardmore is located close to established infrastructure, with the Townsville to Mount Isa rail line only 90km from the mine gate.
Centrex has already secured two trial offtake agreements and is continuing talks with other potential customers.
The company is working hard to meet its goal of starting trial mining later in 2019.
“We look forward to advancing to trial mining and production which will enable the company to demonstrate the quality of the Ardmore product and further advance the project with offtake partners in the region,” Slesarewich said.