Boron is critical for decarbonization as a high impact super material
Boron demand is expected to outpace supply with each step toward Net Zero
VICTORIA, BC / ACCESSWIRE / June 28, 2022 / Erin Ventures Inc. ("Erin" or the "Company") (TSXV:EV) and their partner Temas Resources Corp. [CSE: TMAS] are pleased to report positive results of an Independent Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the Piskanja boron project located in Serbia.
Post-tax Net Present Value (NPV10%)
Initial capital cost (Capex) (including 30% contingency)
Capex payback from commercial production
Life of Mine ("LOM")
Gross Project Revenue
Net Project Cash Flow (post-tax)
Average Annual Gross Revenue
LOM average annual EBITDA
Net operating margin
Post-tax Operating Cost per t of product
Weighted average revenue per t of product
LOM Sustaining Capital (including 30% contingency)
LOM average gross production
Profitability Index (NPV/Capex)
LOM Capital Intensity Index (Initial Capex/ROM tonnage)
LOM average C1 (cash operating) cost (run-of-mine production)
Average annual production (sales grade) colemanite
Average annual production of boric acid
LOM average C1 cost (colemanite) post-tax
LOM average C1 cost (boric acid) post-tax
LOM mining production
4.88 million tonnes
LOM average grade B2O3
Good potential for resource expansion
All values in this news release are reported in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted
Assumed price/t (colemanite 40% B2O3) for LOM: US$500
Assumed price/t (boric acid, technical grade) for LOM: US$700
Units expressed in metric tonnes
The basis for the PEA is the Mineral Resource Estimate prepared by Prof. Miodrag Banješević PhD. P.Geo, EurGeol.
The updated Mineral Resource Statement generated for the Piskanja Project is as follows:
Contained B2O3 (tonne)
Measured + Indicated
Reported at a cut-off grade of 12 percent B2O3, at a minimum mining thickness of 1.2 m, considering reasonable underground mining, processing and selling technical parameters and costs benchmark against similar borate projects and a selling price of US$700/tonne (boric acid) and US$500/tonne (colemanite 40% B2O3). All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have a demonstrated economic viability. The contained B2O3 represents estimated contained metal in the ground and has not been adjusted for metallurgical recovery, and may have discrepancies due to rounding.
Location of Serbia and the Piskanja boron project:
SUMMARY OF PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT
The PEA was prepared independently under the supervision of Prof. Miodrag Banješević PhD. P.Geo, EurGeol, with contributions from Prof. Saša Stojadinović PhD. (mining engineer). The PEA was prepared in accordance with the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 and is based on the Mineral Resource Estimate for Piskanja with an effective date of June 24, 2022 (see "Mineral Resource Estimate" above).
Project economics were estimated assuming a constant price of US$500/t for sales-grade colemanite (40% purity) and US$700/t for boric acid. The PEA will present a complete list of assumptions. Capital and operating cost estimates were prepared based on current and expected long-term pricing assumptions and to a PEA level +/- 35% level of accuracy.
In summary, the Project has a post-tax LOM net project cashflow (pre-finance) of some US$1.21 billion which returns a post-tax NPV (10%) of US$524.9 million and an IRR of 78.7%. The following table presents the summary LOM cash flow resulting from the Technical Economic Model.
Net Project Cashflow (post-tax)
The following table shows the pre- and post-tax NPVs at varying discount rates.(USD'000). The base case discount rate of 10% returns a NPV of US$553.9M pre-tax and US$524.9M post-tax.
Pre-Tax NPV (USD‘000)
Post-Tax NPV (USD‘000)
10% (base case)
The following table shows the effect on the post-tax NPV10 at varying revenue, opex, capex, and material price levels (from -50% to +50%):
Sensitivities: Post Tax NPV at 10% discount rate
The following table illustrates the projected Post-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") sensitivity of the Piskanja project to Operating Cost and Capital Cost variations:
The table below illustrates the Post-tax NPV variability with changing Operating Cost and Revenue estimates:
A more complete set of sensitivity tables are available within the PEA.
Tim Daniels, President of Erin Ventures commented on the PEA results:
"The robust results in the Piskanja PEA confirm what we have always believed - that Piskanja has the potential to be amongst the most impressive boron properties globally. Piskanja joins a very small group of study-backed, development stage boron assets in the world. Piskanja has several attributes that make it attractive for development including stout economics, strong value metrics and the potential for rapid returns with low capital investment. Additionally, Piskanja's projected low operating cost enhances the likelihood of profitability even in the weakest of boron market scenarios. The results of the PEA, combined with the potential for resource expansion, excellent existing local infrastructure, and a favourable mineral mix, make it a truly outstanding and unique project.
The geometry and depth of the mineralisation identified at Piskanja lends itself to an underground mining method. It is envisaged that mining will be by cut and fill method and that the key underground infrastructure will comprise:
twin access declines from surface to the deposit: i) Main Haulage Decline ("MHD") from surface to the floor of Mineralized Zone 1 and ii) Main Ventilation Decline ("MVD") from surface to the roof of Mineralized Zone 3;
anunderground spiral ramp connecting MHD and MVD and enabling access to all levels;
a shaft connecting MHD and MVD to serve as an ore pass and temporary stockpile (if needed);
footwall drives located belowseam horizons of Mineralized Zone 1, Mineralized Zone 2 and Mineralized Zone 3;
level drives and ventilation connections between three footwall drives.
The PEA envisages a Run of Mine (ROM) average annual tonnage of 307,956 tonnes to produce some 261,821 tonnes of sale grade colemanite and 25,000 tonnes of boric acid for a period of 17 years.
Excavation is currently proposed by mechanical cutting using Continuous Miners ("CM"). The rationale of the application of mechanical cutting, as opposed to drill and blast operations, is the need to minimize ground vibrations which may affect the residential structures and cause annoyance to the residents of the nearby village, Korlace. Similarly, the application of any caving mining methods, or any mining methods which could cause ground subsidence is, at present moment, excluded from further considerations.
Material mined by the CMs would be hauled by shuttles or battery haulers to the nearest pass/bin and fed to the panel conveyor at the main haulage horizon. The panel conveyor would then haul the mined material to the main ore pass/ore bunker. The main ore pass has two functions: i) to reduce the mined material tonnes to the Main Haulage Decline and feed it to the Main belt conveyor and ii) to serve as a temporary ore storage/ore stockpile. Once fed to the main belt conveyor, the material is conveyed to the surface and fed to the ore processing system.
In order to achieve an overall planned mining recovery of 75% and ensure the stability of excavated spaces, it will be necessary to apply solidifying material for backfill and further geotechnical assessment including an assessment of the geometry, rock strength, and backfill characteristics will be required.
All ROM production is to be fed to the Colemanite Plant for colemanite production with the aim of upgrading mined materials to desired concentrate levels of B2O3. A constant product grade of 40% B2O3 and a tails grade of 7.5% B2O3 is planned.
The operating plan calls for the production of both colemanite concentrate and boric acid, the latter at a rate of 25 ktpa, and the former at a rate of approximately 250 ktpa. This production scenario has been modelled according to the process route shown in block form. It should be noted that further metallurgical test work is required to finalize the process flowsheet. However, the flowsheet for B2O3 beneficiation is well documented, shows that the process utilizes "off the shelf" technology, and is in fact commonly deployed in Turkish boron mines.
According to available data from Turkey, concentration of colemanite is carried out by crushing and grinding, washing and classification in the size fractions. For larger size fractions, colemanite concentrate is produced through attrition tumbling and hand sorting, while for finer size fractions (-6 mm), attrition scrubbing and classification are carried out. At the Emet Mine in Turkey, a colemanite concentration plant (with a capacity of 600,000 tons per year) processes colemanite feedstock averaging 27% B2O3 to produce 300,000 tons of concentrate averaging 43% B2O3 using the method described above.
The production of boric acid is also a well-documented process with readily available technology used by several producers globally.
CAPITAL and OPERATING COSTS
A breakdown of the capital and operating costs used in the economic analysis is presented in the tables below.
Project Capital Costs [expended over a 24 month development period]
Project Capital (USD'000)
Processing - Colemanite
Processing - Boric Acid
Unit Operating Costs (USD/t)
Processing - Colemanite
Processing - BA Plant
Unit Costs per tonne of production
Michael Dehn, CEO of Temas Resources, partner with Erin Resources on the Piskanja Project, added:
"These positive economics demonstrate that the Piskanja project should be a favourable source of borates for the European markets. Turkey currently provides 98% of the EU's supply of borate. Many companies have been really challenged on the sourcing of raw materials and it is beginning to change their thinking in how they set their sourcing policy going forward. This builds towards reduced environmental impact as we look to aid in the creation of a greener economy through the strategic development of critical metals. The project's free-cash flow of $1.3 billion really demonstrates the great potential that I first saw when looking at this project several years ago. The PEA will provide the guidance we are looking for to advance the project to the next steps. It will also form the basis for the submittal as we complete the required "Elaborate" document to the Serbian government."
Tim Daniels of Erin Ventures continues: "Piskanja is well positioned to benefit from, and contribute to, global decarbonization efforts and the evolving global economy, where reducing environmental impacts and contributions to preventing climate change are increasingly important. Boron is considered a critical, irreplaceable, and expanding strategic driver of decarbonization through reduction of emissions, enabling clean power, helping secure the food supply chain, and providing nutrients in diets for healthy living.
The PEA is the culmination of years of hard work by the team at Erin Ventures, our partners, and our stakeholders. I personally thank all involved for their efforts and support. While the PEA is a significant milestone for us, we are looking forward to the next developments. We have commenced the permitting process, with the data from the PEA forming the backbone of a submission to "certify the Piskanja resource" as an important step in a mine license application process."
Exploration activities undertaken by Erin to date, in conjunction with the results of previous exploratory works, have outlined a significant boron minerals deposit which, in the opinion of the PEA Author, justifies further activities. Future activities should be undertaken in order to assess the potential of project development and, ultimately, mine construction.
The PEA reports a Mineral Resource estimate for the Project which includes a combined Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 6.87 Mt with a mean grade of 34.36% B2O3 and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 0.28 Mt with a mean grade of 39.59% B2O3.
The report shows the potential of the project by demonstrating a post-tax NPV for the Project at a 10% discount rate of USD524 M and an IRR of 79%. If the economic assessment was based solely on Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, the NPV10 would have decreased to USD488M. However, if 8% is used as a discount rate for NPV calculation the NPV would increase to USD610M. In spite of the fact that the Inferred Mineral Resources do not have a significant impact on NPV presented in the PEA, it should be noted that Inferred Mineral Resources are considered speculative geologically.
It should be noted that there is a significant amount of future work to be undertaken in order to mitigate the risks before entering the mine construction phase. The authors of this PEA recommended appropriate actions and activities needed to properly assess and address these associated risks.
A future work program will be discussed with Erin in order to define the necessary steps towards the PFS stage, FS stage and ultimately, the mine construction phase in accordance with Serbian regulatory requirements and international standards, but also to define a set of decision-making milestones to assist in determining that the advancement of the project continues to be warranted.
Recommendations for work that may potentially lead to further improvements to the Project include:
Expansion and improvement of the existing Piskanja Mineral Resource Estimate through further exploration and close-spaced drilling in the two unbounded directions
Improvement and refinement of metallurgical recoveries and processes through further metallurgical test work
Continued evaluation of different project operating scales ("right sizing") and optimization of mine plans
Evaluation and incorporation of existing technologies to improve sustainability and reduce environmental impact
Additional test work to define geotechnical parameters of the rock mass
Additional modelling or model refining (geotechnical, structural, resource, economical) as an aid to appropriate mine design
A comprehensive environmental impact assessment
A demonstration of mitigation measures
The PEA summarized in this news release is considered preliminary in nature, contains numerous assumptions and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative, geologically, to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the results of the PEA will be realized. No Mineral Reserves have been estimated for Piskanja. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred Mineral Resources are that part of the Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geologic evidence and sampling, which is sufficient to imply but not verify grade or quality continuity. Inferred Mineral Resources may not be converted to mineral reserves. It is reasonably expected, though not guaranteed, that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration. Mineral Resources are captured within an optimized mine plan (within the constraints of a PEA) and meet the test of reasonable prospects for economic extraction.
The effective date of the PEA is June 24, 2022, and a technical report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") in support of the PEA will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.
James E Wallis, M.Sc. (Eng), P. Eng., a director of Erin Ventures, and Nenad Rakic, EurGeol, a consultant to Erin Ventures, are qualified persons as defined by NI 43-101, have reviewed the technical information that forms the basis for this news release and have approved the disclosure herein.
Rory Kutluoglu, P.Geo, a director of Temas Resources, and Robert W. Schafer, P.Geo, a director of Temas Resources, are Qualified Persons as defined by NI 43-101, have reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this press release.
Prof. Miodrag Banješević PhD. P.Geo, EurGeol, is the qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 for the Preliminary Economic Assessment and for the Mineral Resource Estimate, and is independent of the Company. He has reviewed the technical information that forms the basis for this news release and has approved the disclosure herein.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Tim Daniels, President
About Erin Ventures Inc.
Erin Ventures Inc. is an international mineral exploration and development company with boron assets in Serbia. Headquartered in Victoria, B.C., Canada, Erin's shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "EV". For detailed information please see Erin's website at www.erinventures.comor the Company's filed documents at www.sedar.com.
Temas may earn a 50% interest in Piskanja by (a) issuing to Erin 250,000 common shares (completed) and 250,000 warrants (completed) (48 months, at an exercise price equal to the market price less the maximum allowable discount pursuant to stock exchange policies), and (b) incurring an aggregate of €10,500,000 in expenditures on Piskanja. The Agreement may be terminated in certain circumstances, including by Erin if certain milestones are not met in accordance with specified timelines. Upon exercise of the option by Temas, a joint venture will be formed and Erin and Temas will become associated as joint venturers to further advance Piskanja.
For further information, please contact:
Erin Ventures Inc.
Blake Fallis, General Manager
Phone: 1-250- 384-1999 or 1-888-289-3746
645 Fort Street, Suite 203
Victoria BC V8W1G2
Erin's Public Quotations:
TSX Venture: EV
SEC 12G3-2(B) #82-4432
Berlin Stock Exchange: EKV
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, the results of the PEA, including the projected Capex, the estimated after-tax NPV and IRR, the estimated LOM and estimated concentrate grades, the potential production from and viability of Piskanja, the risks and opportunities outlined in the PEA, the potential tonnage, grades and content of deposits, the extent of mineral resource estimates, anticipated exploration program results from exploration activities, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves and the anticipated business plans and timing of future activities of the Company are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "estimates", "plans", "may", "should", "would", "will", "potential", "scheduled" or variations of such words and phrases and similar expressions, which, by their nature, refer to future events or results that may, could, would, might or will occur or be taken or achieved. In making the forward-looking statements in this news release, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including without limitation, that the Company will receive all necessary approvals required to develop Piskanja as outlined in the PEA, that the assumptions in the PEA are reasonably accurate, market fundamentals will result in sustained boron demand and prices, the receipt of any necessary permits, licenses and regulatory approvals in connection with the future development of Piskanja in a timely manner, the availability of financing on suitable terms for the development, construction and continued operation of the Company's projects and its ability to comply with environmental, health and safety laws.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such risks and other factors include, among others, requirements for additional capital, operating and technical difficulties in connection with mineral exploration and development activities, actual results of exploration activities, including on the Piskanja project, the estimation or realization of mineral reserves and mineral resources, and there is no guarantee that such interests, will be certain, the timing and amount of estimated future production, the costs of production, capital expenditures, the costs and timing of the development of new deposits, requirements for additional capital, future prices of boron, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for commodities, lack of investor interest in future financings, accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining governmental approvals (including of the TSX Venture Exchange), permits or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, risks relating to epidemics or pandemics such as COVID-19, including the impact of COVID-19 on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations, changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting mining operations, title disputes, the inability of the Company to obtain any necessary permits, consents, approvals or authorizations, the timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation, environmental issues and liabilities, and risks related to joint venture operations, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the company's continuous disclosure documents. All of the Company's Canadian public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this news release or incorporated by reference herein, except as otherwise required by law.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
Erin Ventures Inc. prepares its disclosure in accordance with the requirements of securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Terms relating to mineral resources in this news release are defined in accordance with NI 43-101 under the guidelines set out in CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Council on May 19, 2014, as amended ("CIM Standards"). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") has adopted amendments effective February 25, 2019 (the "SEC Modernization Rules") to its disclosure rules to modernize the mineral property disclosure requirements for issuers whose securities are registered with the SEC under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
As a result of the adoption of the SEC Modernization Rules, the SEC will now recognize estimates of "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" and "inferred mineral resources", which are defined in substantially similar terms to the corresponding CIM Standards. In addition, the SEC has amended its definitions of "proven mineral reserves" and "probable mineral reserves" to be substantially similar to the corresponding CIM Standards.
U.S. investors are cautioned that while the foregoing terms are "substantially similar" to corresponding definitions under the CIM Standards, there are differences in the definitions under the SEC Modernization Rules and the CIM Standards. Accordingly, there is no assurance any mineral resources that Erin Ventures may report as "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" and "inferred mineral resources" under NI 43-101 would be the same had Erin Ventures Inc. prepared the resource estimates under the standards adopted under the SEC Modernization Rules.
In accordance with Canadian securities laws, estimates of "inferred mineral resources" cannot form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies, except in limited circumstances where permitted under NI 43-101.
SOURCE: Erin Ventures Inc.
View source version on accesswire.com: