Jupiter Mines Limited (ASX: JMS) has completed the concept study into the expansion of its world-class Tshipi Borwa Manganese Mine in South Africa in preparation for the commencement of a comprehensive feasibility study.
CEO, Priyank Thapliyal, said the feasibility study will be based on a production profile of 4.5 million tonnes, a major increase on the current three million tonne production level.
Mr Thapliyal said production profiles in excess of the Base Case Scenario were explored as part of the concept study.
“However, the infrastructure required is significantly less complex, will involve a shorter timeframe to implement, has a lower capital requirement, there is less reliance on road transport and the legal requirements are significantly more favourable from a timing perspective for the Base Case Scenario,” he said.
Some of the major constraints to go beyond the Base Case scenario include potential mining constraints, the lack of water in the area and logistical constraints in the medium term.
Mr Thapliyal said infrastructural optionality will be considered for substantial production upside beyond the Base Case Scenario, to be leveraged upon in the future, should the constraints and market dynamics change.
Total capital expenditure required for the expansion is estimated to be R1.025 billion (+- 30% level of confidence).
Mr Thapliyal said this expenditure provides for some of the infrastructure required for the production optionality.
Subject to the completion of the feasibility study and commercial process (approximately one year), Tshipi would expect to reach steady state exports of 4.5 million tonne in three years, with an increase in manganese ore exports in year two and year three, via a stepped approach.
Tshipi Borwa is an open pit manganese mine in the Kalahari Manganese Field (KMF) located in the Northern Cape of South Africa.
Jupiter’s Tshipi manganese ore is shipped to multiple customers around the world and based on Jupiter’s sales experience has been a highly sought-after product in the market place.
The Tshipi Mine exported a company record breaking 3.51 million tonnes of manganese ore in FY19 and production has been steadily growing over recent years. It has the flexibility to scale production between 3.0 – 3.6Mtpa.
It continues to be one of the largest and lowest cost manganese exporters globally.
Tshipi’s transport infrastructure is considered one of the best in the entire Kalahari manganese field. Tshipi has the potential to load trains faster than any manganese operation in South Africa.