Australian Mines’ Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in North Queensland is on track to start construction mid-2019, following the release of its bankable feasibility study which supported commercial development.
Managing director Benjamin Bell said the project was now “well on track to move to the next stage in project funding negotiations”.
Sconi’s proposed development is based on three pits and a 2 million tonne-per-annum processing plant, with an 18-year mine life and average annual revenue from production estimated at $512 million.
The total capital cost of the project has been estimated at $1.3 billion, with the processing plant expected to take up the biggest chunk of expenditure at $1 billion.
The study has also proposed that 90% of the ongoing annual operational expenditure be with local businesses from the surrounding region and 80% of the planned operational workforce be managed on a drive-in, drive-out residential roster from the nearby communities of Greenvale and Charters Towers.
According to Australian Mines, construction of the project would create up to 500 jobs from 2019 to 2021, followed by more than 300 full-time positions once the mine, plant and associated infrastructure are in steady-state operation.
In addition, the proposed development plan is expected to result in significant flow-through investment in regional infrastructure including accommodation, telecommunications and road upgrades as well as a 24/7 medical facility.