Canadian Mining Journal


IRON ORE: Another way to approach mine development

MONTREAL – “I believe the traditional model for project assessment and development that relies on a net present value economic assessment based solely on economic inputs and outputs as the standard units of measure is no longer viable, nor sustainable, given the current state of the commodities sector,” Alan Gorman, president and CEO of Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. said in a release.

Instead, he wants every project to consider social conditions in its definition of success, including minimal environmental and ecological impacts. There would also need to be demonstrated transformational change in respect of energy and extraction. The goal would be accomplished in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders.

Oceanic’s flagship project is the Hopes Advance iron ore property near Aupaluk, NT, near the shores of Ungava Bay. A prefeasibility study was prepared for the project in 2012. Within designed pit parameters, the project has proven and probable reserves of 1.36 billion tonnes grading 32.2% Fe.

Hopes Advance has a post tax net present value (8%) of $3.2 billion and a post tax internal rate of return between 16.8% (unlevered) and 19.2% (levered). Construction costs for a 10-million t/y operation are estimated at $2.85 billion, and a further $1.61 billion would be needed to double capacity at a later date. Life of mine operating costs are estimated at $30.18 per tonne of iron. The company made an FOB price assumption of $100 per tonne.

“We cannot lose sight of the very fundamental fact that our future operations must enhance the lives of all stakeholders as its fundamental purpose,” Gorman added.

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