Recently, Beadell Resources Limited (ASX: BDR) has announced the results of a Feasibility Study (FS) on a plant upgrade project, incorporating the addition of a 6MW ball mill, a high-rate thickener, another leach tank and an oxygen sparging system (Project) at its 100% owned Tucano gold mine (Tucano) in northern Brazil. The throughput will be maintained at 3.6 million tons per annum and recoveries are projected to increase to 93% from the current budgeted recovery of 88%. Further, on 11 April 2017, Beadell released an updated Ore Reserve statement that highlighted a 7% increase in ounces to 1.575 million ounces and a 9% increase in grade to 1.74 g/t gold. After depletion, the new Ore Reserves increased by 18%. As the mine deepens there will be an increasing amount of sulphide ore, which requires a finer grind to achieve economic gold recoveries. The new ball mill will allow for a grind size of 75 microns and will enable the mine to be fully optimized for any combination of sulphide and oxide ores. Throughput remains at 450 tones per hour for a nominal annual throughput of 3.6 million tons per annum. The timing of the FS was driven by the need to undertake Project civil works and concrete pours during the dry season in the second half 2017 and expected to be completed in mid-2018. The FS demonstrates the viability of upgrading the Tucano process plant with an incremental estimated post-tax net present value (NPV) of US$127 million at a 5% discount rate and an estimated internal rate of return (IRR) of 138%. The estimated pre-production capital cost is US$27.6 million, while the payback period for the Project is estimated as 14 months.
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