Denarius looks to reopen Aguablanca nickel-copper mine in Spain

With a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) in hand, Denarius Metals (CBOE CA: DMET; OTCQX: DNRSF) hopes to reopen the Aguablanca nickel-copper mine […]
The mill at the Aguablanca nickel-copper mine in Spain. Credit: Denarius Metals

With a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) in hand, Denarius Metals (CBOE CA: DMET; OTCQX: DNRSF) hopes to reopen the Aguablanca nickel-copper mine in the town of Monesterio, Spain. The company owns 50% of the Aguablanca project through its wholly owned Spanish subsidiary, Alto Minerals. The project is 88 km southwest from the company’s 50%-owned Lomero copper-zinc project.

"The PFS confirms our decision late last year to invest in the Aguablanca project, one of the only deposits in Spain able to produce nickel and copper,” said Denarius chair and CEO Serafino Iacono. “By the end of this year, we will have restarted the processing plant, which has been maintained in good condition, and completed the preparation for underground contract mining to deliver the first production of nickel-copper concentrates in early 2025.”

The PFS gives the underground Aquablanca project a further six years of life. The net present value with a 5% discount is US$83.1 million with an after-tax internal rate of return of 213% with payback occurring by the end of 2025. The pit is to be dewatered and mining begin from underground. Only 50% of the  mill’s capacity will be used for Aguablanca, and the remaining capacity will treat ore from the Lomero project.

At long-term nickel and copper prices of US$7.30 per pound and US$3.50 per pound, respectively, total life of mine undiscounted after-tax project cash flow from mining operations amounts to US$105.7 million.

The Aguablanca mine will produce a total of 43.2 million lb. nickel and 34.6 million lb. copper plus gold, platinum, and palladium. All-inclusive sustaining costs per pound of nickel produced will be US$4.04.

Denarius reports that it has several potential customers in Europe willing to take the concentrates from the mine.

When mining ended in 2015, there remained measured and indicated resources of 6.4 million tonnes grading 0.63% nickel and 0.56% copper. There was also an indicated resource of 242,000 tonnes at 0.52% nickel and 0.42% copper.

More details of the Aguablanca project are posted on www.DenariusMetals.com.

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