The show must go on — the resource plays that are still progressing their projects
Efforts to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic such as travel bans and other restrictions have led some resource companies, particularly those with operations overseas, to defer or suspend work.
However, there are some companies that are going ahead with work to advance their projects.
Take Strandline Resources (ASX:STA) for example, the mineral sands player has just raised $6.5m through a share placement and rights issue to accelerate development of its flagship Coburn project in Western Australia.
This includes advancing project financing and pre-execution activities, such as procurement of major construction and operations contracts, offtake agreements, debt financing and partner arrangements.
Coburn has an ore reserve large enough to underpin a mine life of 22.5 years initially.
During this time, it is expected to generate revenue of $3.9bn, earnings of $1.9bn, pre-tax net present value (NPV) of $551m and internal rate of return (IRR) of 32 per cent.
NPV and IRR measure the expected profitability of proposed projects.
Element 25’s (ASX:E25) metallurgical test work has successfully produced a high-grade concentrate containing 33 per cent manganese at an 82 per cent recovery using ore sourced from its Butcherbird project.
The company said the results highlighted the potential for an early start-up concentrate export opportunity to generate cash flow.
The project has the potential to be a low-cost, free-dig mining and simple processing option for the company to enter production that complements its plans to produce high-purity manganese.
A pre-feasibility study is currently underway to evaluate a concentrate export strategy.
Legend Mining (ASX:LEG) has recommenced aircore and diamond drilling at the Mawson prospect within its Rockford Project in the Fraser Range, Western Australia.
Interest in the Fraser Range has been renewed after fellow explorer Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL) made a nickel-copper discovery at its Lantern prospect.
Meanwhile, Odin Metals (ASX:ODM) has committed to carrying out drilling at its Monte Azul zinc project in Brazil as soon as practical after it completes the second part of a $4.25m placement, which is expected to be approved by shareholders in April.
This comes after the company executed its option to acquire the project from Vale by transferring the initial payment of $US500,000 ($875,419) earlier this month.
The planned drilling will seek to increase confidence, establish a JORC resource and potentially extend the higher grade central lens of the deposit.
Previous drilling returned results of 13.9m at 10.39 per cent zinc and 2.13 per cent lead from a depth of 262.5m and 10.3m at 6.09 per cent zinc and 0.72 per cent lead from 328.4m.
Over in Africa, Canyon Resources (ASX:CAY) has prepared and executed management plans to mitigate the impact of the virus on its Minim Martap bauxite project in Cameroon.
The company says that all pre-feasibility study (PFS) related independent consultant site visits have been completed and that all critical PFS activity on site can be completed under its current measures.
As a result, delivery of the PFS remains on track for the second quarter of 2020.