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Tigers Realm doubles Russia coal project’s mine life

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The mining licence and construction permits have been granted, and lesser mining approvals were expected to be awarded by the end of the second quarter 2016.

An updated feasibility study into the Amaam coking coal project, in Russia, has nearly doubled the project’s mine life while reducing capital and operating costs.

Owner Tigers Realm Coal on Friday told shareholders that the updated feasibility study incorporated a 33% reduction in stripping ratios, as well as the devaluation of the ruble and lower oil prices.

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The updated study followed a 53% increase in the resource of the main project area, known as Project F, which was now estimated at 110.6-million tonnes.

A 2014 bankable feasibility study on Project F found that a one-million-tonne-a-year openpit operation would require a capital investment of $121.7-million, free-on-board (FOB) cash costs of $68.50/t, and a mine life of some 11 years.

However, the updated feasibility study estimated that the project would have a mine life of 20 years, also based on a one-million-tonne-a-year operation, and would require a capital investment of $99-million, while FOB costs had been estimated at $41/t.

Over its mine life, Project F was expected to deliver 18.9-million tonnes of coal, comprising 13.4-million tonnes of semi-hard coking coal and 5.5-million tonnes of thermal coal.

Tigers Realm said on Friday that Project F had the capacity to expand beyond the current one-million-tonne-a-year phase through an increase in the openpit reserves or the underground mining of Seam 4, which was estimated to host about 56-million tonnes of resource below the proposed openpit operation.

The company was hoping to start mining at Project F in 2017 through a phased approach.

The first phase would produce up to 600 000 t/y of near-surface thermal and coking coal using equipment and infrastructure already on site.

Site operating costs for the Phase One project were currently estimated at $25/t FOB, while the project would require a capital investment of $15-million. Tigers Realm was undertaking a detailed evaluation of this development option in the context of available financing alternatives.

The mining licence and construction permits have been granted, and lesser mining approvals were expected to be awarded by the end of the second quarter 2016.

Source: Mining weekly

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