EMC Metals Corp. (TSX:EMC) controls a scandium mineral project in New South Wales, Australia, and is seeking partners in the development of the project. EMC envisions a joint venture structure, with EMC as operator and majority stakeholder, should the project proceed to development. The project asset would be held in an Australian entity, with most but probably not all of the project activity located in Australia. The Company is headquartered in Sparks (Reno), Nevada, and is majority held by US shareholders and managed by US staff/officers. The company is focused on specialty metals, specifically scandium, and has two scandium assets: The Nyngan Scandium Project in NSW, Australia, and the Tordal Scandium Property, in southern Norway.
Nyngan Scandium Project
The Nyngan property is located approximately 450 km north-west of Sydney. EMC controls 100% of the project, subject to an A$1.4M cash payment due in June 2014. The property resource was developed from approximately 80 RC holes, drilled since 2005, and has a current Measured and Indicated NI 43-101 Resource of 12 M tonnes, grading 261ppm (100ppm cut-off). The resource is covered by two exploration licenses (EL’s), and most of the surface ground over the resource is freehold (owned ground).
In 2012, the company completed a pre-feasibility (PFS) NI 43-101 Economic Report on the project, independently prepared by SNC-Lavalin in Brisbane. The study showed favorable economics and was supported by approximately $1M in metallurgical test work, done with Nyngan resource material, to pilot scale, and independently conducted by Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado, USA.
The results of the SNC-Lavalin PFS were never published on SEDAR, for several reasons. The important technical reason was that EMC intended to modify the study for certain flow sheet improvements that emerged too late to include within the strict timing deadlines that surrounded completion of that 2012 Report. A revised and more representative report is intended to be undertaken and completed in the future
Nyngan Project Strengths
- Scandium is supplied today either as a co-product of other primary metal projects, typically from diverted leach streams, or is reprocessed out of old tailings from exhausted mining projects.
- Nyngan is unusual, as a dedicated scandium production source,
- Property resource grade is excellent,
- Benign, single product resource makes separation, treatment and environmental issues cheaper,
- Property resource is big (+100 years production), and
- Flow sheet design is completed, tested, and supported by metallurgical test work.
- The project requires $5M over 18 months to complete the following steps to construction:
- Finalize ownership obligations/arrangements on property,
- Optimize flowsheet details, to reflect improved process steps,
- Produce a revised PFS at +/- 25% accuracy (or better),
- Complete/finalize/submit EIS (50% completed today),
- Convert property exploration licenses (EL’s) to a NSW mining license, and
- Make a final construction decision.Project Development Targets
- CapEx to production under US$100M
- OpEx in production under US$1,000/kg scandium oxide (+98% purity)
- Initial Production in 2016
- Annual production minimum of 15,000 kg (15 tonnes) scandium oxide
Joint Venture Opportunity
EMC is now seeking a JV partner, preferably an industry partner with interest in an offtake of scandia from the project or an ability to support global marketing, to make a $5M equity investment in the project, at the project level, for a 25% project interest. Interested parties are directed to EMC’s website for further information on the project. Expressions of interest in further discussion should be directed to George Putnam, CEO, by email, at: George.Putnam@EMCMetals.com.