Thor Explorations Ltd (CVE:THX) has started 2019 with gusto after it revealed it is in advanced discussions with project financiers as posted a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Segilola project in Nigeria, which showed the site to be a high margin gold mine.
The company also posted today a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a proposed additional underground project (UG Project), also at Segilola, which underlines the further potential of the site.
The net present value of the open pit was put at $138 million at a 5% discount rate and an IRR (internal rate of return) of 50% post-tax.
"Both these studies confirm the robustness of Segilola and the significant upside potential that exists," said Segun Lawson, Thor's president and CEO.
"The feasibility study confirms that the initial Segilola open pit is a high margin gold project generating a robust post-tax IRR of 50% with an excellent 1.4 year payback and an NPV5% of $138m with excellent leverage to gold price sensitivity. The Underground Preliminary Economic Assessment demonstrates an initial view of the potential of the deposit which remains open at depth whilst already potentially providing an additional NPV5% of $35m to the project," he said.
The open pit project has a pre-production capex of $87 million, a mine life of five years, with an average of 80,000 ounces generated over that period. The all-in sustaining cost over the life of mine is put at $662 per ounce.
The DFS also envisages a new 625,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) processing plant, which would consist of a conventional crushing circuit, two-stage grinding, electrowinning and smelting to produce gold dore bars.
Eighteen months for construction
The construction start has been set for the second quarter of 2019 with an 18-month construction period.
The UG project considers an initial three-year underground operation which can be commissioned during the open pit mine life to supplement the open pit ore with high-grade underground production. The pre-tax value of that project is put at $35 million, with development capital required pegged at $13 million.
The life of mine all-in sustaining costs is put at $756 per ounce.
Notably, the deposit remains open below the resources considered in the UG project.
Thor told investors that advanced discussions with project financiers are continuing, with EPC turnkey documentation with its preferred EPC contractor Norinco International.
Exploration drilling on additional targets is also ongoing and Thor considers that strong potential exists for potential satellite deposits.
The Nigerian government offers a compelling fiscal incentive program to support companies to develop the country's mineral resource sector.
Shares in Toronto were unchanged at $0.175.
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