23/05/2016 – The DFS and board changes lead the way to production
On the 20th April, Cradle announced the results of its Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its 50% owned Panda Hill niobium project located in Tanzania. This was followed by two key board appointments, with Ian Middlemas and Robert Behets joining as non-executive directors, and existing board member, James Kelly, assuming the role of Executive Director.
08/05/2016 – Cradle announce board changes
Cradle Resources is pleased to announce that Ian Middlemas and Robert Behets have been appointed to the Board as Non-Executive Directors. Mr Middlemas, who is a long-standing substantial shareholder in the Company with a 10 per cent stake, will bring extensive skills and experience in corporate finance, marketing and project funding. Mr Behets has strong technical, commercial and managerial skills in addition to operating experience in Tanzania. Mr Middlemas and Mr Behets were part of the founding team that together developed Mantra Resources, a uranium company based in Tanzania.
29/04/2016 – Anglo sells Catalao for US$1.5 billion
The growing recognition of niobium as a vital new-age metal with limited supply was reflected in Anglo American’s recent sale of its Catalao niobium/phosphate mine in Brazil. The auction process was known to have been extremely competitive, resulting in Anglo selling Catalao for US$1.5 billion – about 50 per cent more than market forecasts.
20/04/2016 – Cradle Resources announces positive DFS
Cradle Resources announced its Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the 20th April 2016. The Study has focussed on producing on average 5,400tpa (5.4Mkg/annum) niobium as ferroniobium over the LOM with a 1.3Mtpa concentrator initially operating for 4 years and then expanding to 2.6Mtpa in Year 5.
Very positive financial metrics are generated in the DFS for the Project with a projected NVP8 (after tax) of US$542M and pre-tax IRR of 32% and a nominal pay-back period of only 4.75 years, from fully funded and inclusive of the expansion capital.
An initial construction capital cost of US$165M with a pre-production requirement of US$31M (excluding working capital) has been determined. A further US$93M has been allowed for the expansion of the plant to 2.6Mtpa. Average LOM operating costs for the process are estimated at US$21.34/kg Nb (vs. an average weighted LOM price od US$42).
Craig Burton, the Chairman of Cradle, commented:
“The Cradle DFS demonstrates an exceptionally strong Project. The numbers speak for themselves. On any analysis, this Project is likely to be brought into production and deliver substantial profits for many years. This will be the first new niobium producer in 40 years and the only new producer of this rare metal in the foreseeable future. The demand for niobium continues to grow strongly due to the burgeoning world-wide demand for new-age materials and associated elements like lithium, graphite and niobium.”
14/04/2016 – Final tests confirm world-class quality of Panda Hill niobium product
Cradle Resources is pleased to advise that it has achieved another major milestone in its strategy to develop the world-class Panda Hill niobium project in Tanzania, with key metallurgical tests returning outstanding results. These most recent tests demonstrate that Panda Hill concentrate can be used to produce a high-quality ferro-niobium product, which is in turn sold directly to steel mills to produce high strength, low alloy steel products. A picture of the Panda Hill FeNb buttons produced at the ANSTO facility in Sydney is shown below.
These first FeNb production tests established that the buttons made from Panda Hill concentrate contained low levels of impurities, further underpinning the quality of product.
The Panda Hill Niobium Project is located in the Mbeya region, near the borders with Zambia and Malawi, approximately 680km west of the capital Dar es Salaam. The Project has excellent nearby infrastructure including: TAZARA Rail line (2km away), the Dar es Salaam – Tunduma Highway (5km away), Songwe Airport (8km away) and the Lafarge Songwe Cement Factory (6km away). Access to water and power is also relatively simple with water harvesting from TSF and surrounds possible and the Songwe River, a major water course, running next to the mining tenements. Power is available at the Mbeya Substation and TANESCO is also planning a new 400kV power line that will run past the licence area.