Considering Relocating Infrastructure Close To Proposed Open Pit
Big River Gold Ltd (ASX: BRV) has unveiled progress with the Plant/Project Engineering Cost Estimate Update (ECE) for the Borborema project in Brazil.
The company has also reported on recent developments in site infrastructure engineering and in the regional exploration and resource extension work that has recommenced.
Borborema Project Progress ECE Progress.
The company has extended the schedule for the review of the Borborema 2Mtpa DFS and an Engineering Cost Estimate update (ECE) as outlined below.
A draft report was received from GR Engineering Services (GRES) in late August and is currently being reviewed.
The GRES ECE incorporated additional findings and developments arising out of ongoing engineering studies.
Some items in the 2019 DFS study were considered to have been understated and cost estimates for those areas will increase as a result including EPCM and Owners Costs.
The core process plant components of the estimate will likely be relatively unchanged while some equipment and layout changes have been incorporated to reduce risk, increase resilience, and to capitalise on opportunities presented by economies of scale.
More of these are presenting as ongoing mine planning detail comes available and gold pricing and recovery assumptions are updated. There has also been a significant increase in mining and exploration activity in Brazil over the last 12-18 months.
This has seen an increase in costs and prices as well as demand on service providers and suppliers. The process of updating budget pricing and quotations to 2021 conditions has been slower than anticipated and pricing is being carefully interrogated where increases are apparent.
The update is focussing on the initial 2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) Stage 1 of the Borborema Project.
However, selection of equipment and layout has been revised to accommodate a possible mine expansion in Year 3 or 4 of Stage 1 which recognises the significant scale of the Borborema resource and the economies which would result from increased plant throughput.
Preliminary studies have commenced in parallel to investigate the potential of expanding the pit to 4- 6Mtpa. This work includes consideration of the eventual relocation of the adjacent highway and regional powerline and de-risking, especially relating to securing sufficient process water supplies to underpin process throughput.
Restrictions on travel to Brazil for Australian based staff and contractors has created some project management challenges. However, there are plans and processes in place to ensure that the project teams in both Australia and Brazil are coordinated and working well together.
The company recognises that this has meant longer and some unusual working hours for a number of key people.
Work has commenced on both near-project exploration and regional exploration withing the surrounding Serido Shear Zone. Following a review of the existing database, plans to establish a drilling team at Borborema over the longer term commenced and enquiries made of several experienced drilling companies.
However, the mining and exploration boom in Brazil has resulted in very poor drill rig availability with several companies unable to provide rigs until next February, 2022.
However, we do hold hope that we can secure at least 1-2 rigs from experienced drilling companies within a reasonable timeframe.
Near project drilling
• Big River has planned ~5,000 meters first stage Diamond Core program initially targeting the following – High grade down plunge extensions – Resource upgrade from Inferred to Indicated and – Exploration targets North and South of existing drilling
• The down dip plunge of the Borborema pit has a higher-grade zone that will be targeted at depth (includes 15m @ 3.61g/t from, CRDD-134). Step out drilling 100m from prior intercepts down plunge will test these continuous higher-grade zones.
• two proposals have been received to date by drilling contractors, with an additional proposal expected. All contractors have a 3-to-5-month lead time for rig availability.
“While we had hoped to be in a position to release the engineering cost update in the third quarter, there have been strong improvements in the engineering plans being developed and the strategy for moving forward to best exploit the Borborema deposit,” Andrew Richards, Executive Chairman of Big River Gold, said.
“In particular the efforts to secure process water for the planned operation have proven very positive and will influence possible future expansion for which the timing is currently being assessed.”
For further information please visit: https://www.bigrivergold.com.au/