Minemakers Limited
TSX : MAK
ASX : MAK
NAMIBIAN : MMS

Minemakers Limited

October 03, 2012 18:39 ET

Minemakers Limited: Wonarah Receives Preliminary Economic Assessment Confirming Economic Potential for Major Fertiliser Production Facility

HIGHLIGHTS

- Independent consultants have completed a preliminary economic assessment (the "Study").

- NPVs ranging from A$1.840 billion to A$2.350 billion and rates of return of 17-24% have been modelled (both calculated on a pre-tax ungeared basis).

- The expenditure required for a full feasibility study ("FS") is justified.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2012) - Minemakers Limited ("Minemakers") (TSX:MAK)(ASX:MAK)(NAMIBIAN:MMS) commissioned the Study by independent consultants on the technical practicality and the economics for the development of Wonarah (Figure 1). The Study has been filed today with Canadian securities regulators.

The Study models the economics of the development of Minemakers' wholly-owned Wonarah deposit and proposed downstream processing facilities to produce superphosphoric acid or N-P fertilisers such as diammonium phosphate ("DAP").

The Study includes mineral resources that are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. The Study is a preliminary economic assessment and, as such, is preliminary in nature, 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, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment can be realized.

The consultants are KEMWorks, a Florida-based fertiliser industry consultancy, for the technical aspects, and Optimum Capital, of Australia, for the financial analysis.

While other development routes or combinations will be considered in a future FS, the Study focussed upon two options to produce 1Mtpa of P2O5:

  • Production of 1.4Mtpa of 70% P2O5 superphosphoric acid ("SPA") by the Improved Hard Process ("IHP"); or
  • Production of 2Mtpa of DAP/MAP via a conventional Wet Acid Process ("WAP"). (Figure 2)

The project economics for these two base case alternatives are presented in the following tables.

Table 1: Summary Financial Outcomes

WAP
Fertilizer
IHP SPA
Mineralized Material Mined Mtpa 7.0 6.5
SPA Sold Mtpa 1.46
DAP Sold Mtpa 2.24
Mine Life Years 20 20
Net Revenue A$M 28,303 21,482
Operating Cost A$M 17,633 11,505
Upfront Capital Cost A$M 2,464 1,691
Cashflow Before Tax A$M 6,981 7,359
NPV Pre-tax Ungeared (8%) A$M 1,836 2,350
IRR Pre-tax Ungeared % 17 24
Operating Margin % 36 45
Payback Years 7 6

Table 2: Project Annual Operating Margins

WAP IHP
Average Annual Revenue A$M 1,378 1,037
Operating Costs
Mining A$M 116 107
Processing A$M 658 320
Logistics A$M 108 147
Carbon Costs A$M NIL 1.3
Total A$M 882 575
Average Annual Operating Cashflow A$M 497 462

The financial analysis used current US dollars product prices and a 95 cent A$/US$ exchange rate.

MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES

At a 10% P2O5 cut off grade the mineral resource estimate relied upon in the Study is summarized as following:

Deposit Category Tonnes (Mt) P2O5 (%)
Main Zone Indicated
Inferred
252
395
18.2
18.0
Arruwurra Indicated
Inferred
51
84
18.3
16.0
Combined Indicated
Inferred
303
479
18.2
18.0

(NB: Rounding may result in apparent discrepancies in total figures.)

THE SPA OPTION

This is conceptually preferred, as it has significantly lesser capital and operating costs, greater NPV and IRR, and could produce a readily marketable and superior product to merchant grade phosphoric acid ("MGA").

However, before that development route can be selected, JDCPhosphate Inc ("JDC"), the holder of the patent for the IHP, must prove its ability to produce at commercial scale. JDC is raising capital to construct and operate a Demonstration Plant in Florida and aims to have it completed around the end of 2012. Minemakers owns 6.67% of JDC and holds the sole Australian rights to the IHP technology for a term of 7 years.

Under this development scenario, Minemakers would undertake relatively simple beneficiation on site and also construct the IHP kilns at Wonarah. The SPA would be taken in tankers by road to near Tennant Creek and would then be railed to the export port of Darwin, or to southern Australian markets.

Asia currently imports over 3Mt of P2O5 as acid, and demand is anticipated to increase.

The Study uses an SPA price of US$1,000/t.

THE DAP/MAP OPTION

In this alternative, a more conventional processing route would be taken. After mining, the ore would be beneficiated on site and then transported via a slurry pipeline to a factory site adjacent to the railway in the vicinity of Tennant Creek.

Sulphuric acid would be manufactured from the burning of imported sulphur, and the phosphate slurry and the acid would be used to manufacture MGA by the usual wet acid process ("WAP").

Imported ammonia would then be used to make N-P fertilisers such as MAP and DAP.

The Study used a DAP price of US$600/t.

FUTURE WORK

Minemakers believes that the results of the Study justify the ongoing commitment to a full FS.

NON-IFRS MEASURES

Minemakers included the non-IFRS measures NPV and IRR in this press release, as presented in the Study. Each term is defined in full in the Study and reference should be had thereto. Minemakers believes that these measures provide investors with an improved ability to evaluate the technical information presented. Non-IFRS measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS. Therefore they may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other companies. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

For further information on the Wonarah Project, the Study and further assumptions and qualifications please refer to the Minemakers' technical report pursuant to NI 43-101 entitled "Preliminary Economic Assessment for Wonarah Phosphate Project, Northern Territory, Australia", dated September 2012 and available on the Minemakers' website and www.sedar.com.

The information in this release that relates to Exploration Results, cut off grades, project background and Minemakers Comments on the estimates is based on information prepared under the supervision of Andrew Drummond, who is Executive Chairman of Minemakers and a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr Drummond has sufficient experience deemed relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr Drummond is a 'Qualified Person' as defined in NI 43-101 and has supervised the preparation of this release. Mr Drummond consents to the inclusion in the news release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

Information in this report that relates to the current Mineral Resource estimates for Arruwurra and Main Zone reflects information compiled by Jonathon Abbott who is a full time employee of MPR Geological Consultants Pty Ltd. Mr Abbott, a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is reporting to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves." and as "Qualified Person" as defined in NI 43-101. Mr Abbott has consented to reporting of the matters based on the information compiled by them, in the form and context in which it appears.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information

All statements, trend analysis and other information contained in this report relative to markets for Minemakers' trends in resources, recoveries, production and anticipated expense levels, as well as other statements about anticipated future events or results constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect" and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could" or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results of operations to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and opinions of management at the date the statements are made. Minemakers does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements even if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

In accordance with JORC Code Clause 18, with respect to future exploration of the phosphatic target zone, the potential quantity and grade of any discovery conceptual in nature, there is insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in determination of a Mineral Resource.

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/mak1003fig1.pdf.

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/mak1003fig2.pdf.

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