Sama Resources Inc. [SME-TSXV; SAMMF-OTC] has released results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the development of its Samapleu nickel-copper project located in Ivory Coast, West Africa.
The PEA was prepared by DRA Global’s office, in Montreal, Canada, through DRA Met-Chem. All dollar figures are in U.S. dollars.
• Average annual production of 3,900 tonnes of carbonyl nickel powder, 8,400 tonnes of carbonyl iron powder and 14,100 tonnes of copper concentrate over a 20-year mine life;
• Capital costs of $282 million, including contingency of $37 million;
• Operational costs of $23.96/tonne milled;
• Pre-tax Net Present Value (NPV ) at 8% discount rate of $615 million and internal rate of return (IRR) of 32.5%;
• After-tax NPV at 8% discount rate of $391 million and after-tax IRR of 27.2%.
“These results highlight the value of the Samapleu nickel-copper asset for the company,” said Dr. Marc-Antoine Audet, President and CEO. “That said, the Sama-HPX team will continue with its exploration efforts aiming at delineating massive sulphide accumulation that could be the source of high-grade nickel, copper and palladium lenses intersected in drill holes at the Samapleu deposits.”
Nickel and iron powders produced by CVMR’s carbonyl process are used in batteries, 3-D printing, metal injection moulding, aerospace and automotive parts manufacturing, medical instruments, computer parts, electronic parts, moulds and tools, superalloys, and sophisticated shapes for use in the defence and aerospace industries.
The current average sale price for the three products is $6,463 per t, based on carbonyl nickel powder sale price of $25,483/tonne, carbonyl iron powder sale price of $8,389/tonne and copper concentrate sale price of $966/tonne.
The mineral resources estimate for the Samapleu nickel and copper deposits contains, at a nickel equivalent (NiEq equals nickel plus 0.167 times copper) cut-off grade of 0.1%, 33.18 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources at an average of 0.27% NiEq and 0.24% Ni and 17.78 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources at an average of 0.25% NiEq and 0.22% Ni.
A summary of the mineral resources is provided in the associated table.
Category Resources NiEq Ni
(mt) (%) (%)
Measured – – –
Indicated 33.18 0.269 0.238
Meas. and Ind. 33.18 0.269 0.238
Inferred 17.78 0.248 0.224
The mining method selected for Samapleu is a conventional open-pit operation with off-highway haul trucks, hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders. The mineralized material, contained in three pits, is intended to be mined by surface operations. It is estimated that approximately 44.42 million tonnes of mineralized material is extractable over a 20-year mine life. The average grade fed to the processing plant over the 20-year mine life is 0.24% Ni, 0.18% Cu and 11.86% Fe.
The mineral processing plant is designed to process 2.4 million tonnes per year of run-of-mine mineralized material to produce 39,000 tonnes per year of nickel concentrate at 10.34% Ni grade and 15,000 tonnes per year of copper concentrate at 23.00% Cu grade. The copper concentrate will be a saleable product and the nickel concentrate will be fed to the carbonyl refining plant, which supports the production of 3,900 tonnes per year of carbonyl nickel powder and 8,400 tonnes per year of carbonyl iron powder.
The nickel concentrate from the concentrator will be sent to the carbonyl refining plant to extract nickel and iron. The concentrate will be roasted to convert the sulphide minerals to oxides in a fluid bed roaster. If the concentrate is too fine, the feed may have to be pelletized prior to feeding the fluid bed roaster. Calcined concentrate will then be reduced in a rotary kiln, with hydrogen to convert the nickel and iron oxides to metallic nickel and iron, respectively. Nickel and iron will be extracted from reduced concentrate in the form of volatile metal carbonyls through CVMR’s carbonyl process, then separated and decomposed to metal nickel and iron products.
In October 2017, Sama entered into a binding term sheet in view of forming a strategic partnership with HPX TechCo Inc., a private mineral exploration company in which mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland is a significant stakeholder, in order to develop its Cote d’Ivoire nickel-copper and cobalt project in Ivory Coast, West Africa.