Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (Jogmec) has approved an additional N$32,2 million for funding its tier-1 Lofdal heavy rare earth joint venture project with Namibia Critical Metals Incorporated (NCMI).
The Lofdal project is located around 25km north-west of Khorixas in the Kunene region, and constitutes a significant deposit of the heavy rare earth metals dysprosium and terbium.
According to miningandenergy.com, Darrin Campbell, the president of NCMI, the additional funds bring the total budget for the period up to the end of March to N$241 million for the project.
He said the injection of new funds would enable the joint venture, which has a 25-year mining licence, to fast-track the progression of crucial projects, ensuring the timely execution of key milestones ahead of schedule.
“This accelerated funding will allow us to complete pilot plant hydrometallurgical test work, as well as other important technical studies to finalise our pre-feasibility study for the large-scale Lofdal 2B-4 project,” Campbell said.
NCMI intends to leverage advanced technologies and innovative methodologies to optimise processes and enhance the efficiency of mineral extraction and refining.
“Parallel technical studies will be conducted to support the ongoing pre-feasibility study fostering a comprehensive understanding of the mining potential of Lofdal and paving the way for future success,” he said.
The proposed mining method for the Lofdal deposit is conventional open-pit mining.
The mineralised rock and waste material will be blasted, drilled and loaded into off-highway dump trucks, and then transported to the processing plant.
Campbell said the recent filing of an updated preliminary economic assessment for Lofdal 2B-4 showcased a post-tax net present value of N$7,3 billion and an annual internal rate of return of 28% with a capital expenditure of N$3,8 billion.
He said the project is expected to generate a life of mine nominal cash flow of N$12,9 billion after tax over a 16-year mine life.
The joint venture’s mining licence was issued in July 2021and is valid for a 25-year period until 10 May 2046.
“Jogmec’s role as a strategic partner in mineral projects globally is highlighted, as it has already completed term 2 of the joint venture agreement by reaching the N$138 million expenditure requirement,” Campbell said.
He said an additional N$39 million has been approved for term 3 up to 31 March this year, bringing the total approved project funding to N$260 million earn-in requirement to reach 50% interest.
NCMI signed an agreement with Jogmec to jointly explore, develop, exploit, refine and/or distribute mineral products from Lofdal Heavy Rare Earth Project in January 2020.
Under the agreement, Jogmec can acquire a 50% interest in the project by investing N$260 million in exploration and development.
After the completion of earn-in and a feasibility study, it could earn an additional 1% interest in Lofdal.
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