A scoping study into the Takatokwane thermal coal project, in Botswana, estimated that the mine would cost $767-million to develop, Australian junior Walkabout Resources reported on Wednesday. The conceptual operation at Takatokwane was based on two openpit strip mines, each delivering six-million tonnes a year of coal. Some of the productwould be upgraded through a modular two-stage washing plant, and theproject was expected to deliver three saleable products, according to Miningweekly,
The scoping study was based on the over seven-billion-tonne Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource at Takatokwane, with the mine designfocused on a target mining area where 748-million tonnes had been classified as indicated resource.
“It was always important that we understood the optimum profile for mining the huge Takatokwane deposit. We now know that we will be building large-scale, opencut strip mines employing drag-lines and rope excavators that will producecoal for many years to come,” said Walkabout MD Allan Mulligan.
While the scoping study had initially opted for a 12-million-tonne-a-year production rate, Mulligan noted that this could be significantly increased in modular extensions.
Based on the 12-million-tonne-a-year output, the Takatokwane mine was currently estimated to have a net present value of $850-million and an internal rate of return of 14%.
However, Mulligan noted that the development of the Takatokwane projectremained dependent on the construction of suitable rail infrastructure to move the coal product, which had been targeted for sale to South African powerstations and for export through the Port of Walvis Bay, in Namibia.
The government of Botswana was currently investigating the feasibility of the Trans-Kalahari rail project, and the project was slated for completion by 2019/20.