60% owned by Galena, the Abra Base Metals Mine (Abra) is a globally significant lead-silver project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia (between the towns of Newman and Meekatharra, approximately 110 kilometres from Sandfire’s DeGrussa Copper Project).
In September 2018, the Company completed the Abra Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) delivering a long-life high value, high grade lead-silver mine. Following the $90 million equity investment by Toho Zinc in April 2019, the Abra JV (60% Galena and 40% Toho Zinc) finalised the Feasibility Study (FS) in July 2019.
The FS delivered outstanding project economics and metrics that lead to the Company appointing a mining-experienced international bank to lead the process of structuring and concluding a suitable mine financing debt package.
The FS outlined an underground mine and processing facility with a 16-year mine life producing a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate of approximately 95kt of lead and 805koz of silver per year after ramp-up. Based on a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of A$170 million, the FS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra (at an 8% discount rate) of A$553 million and an internal rate of return of 39%.
The Company executed a US$110 million debt facility agreement with Taurus in November 2020. The Final Investment Decision (FID) was made to proceed with the Abra mine construction in June 2021.
Abra site access and decline development commenced in October 2021. The mine and associated infrastructure was built in 2022 and the first lead-silver concentrate production was shipped in March 2023.
The Abra FS mined 16.3Mt @ 8.1% Pb and 20g/t Ag. The material mined sits within a very large Mineral Resource base of 33.4Mt @ 7.1% Pb and 17g/t Ag, which underpins the ongoing potential mine life of the deposit and the various levels of mining and processing optimisation that has occurred since the mine has been operational. The Table below shows the most recent mineral resource estimate (ASX: July 2023). Diamond drilling below the Abra lead and silver mineralisation in early 2021 has also highlighted the potential of Copper/Gold mineralisation within the same mineralised system offering further long-term economic potential. Limited work has been done to date on the Copper/Gold mineralisation and the infrastructure being built for the current Abra mine can easily be utilised for further expansions and use. The image below shows the Abra mineral resources. The top of the Abra mineral resource is 230m below the surface.
|Abra JORC Mineral Resource estimate1, 2|
|Resource classification||Tonnes (Mt)||Lead grade (%)||Silver grade (g/t)|
Notes: 1. See Galena ASX announcement of July 2023. 2. Calculated using ordinary kriging method and a 5.0% lead cut-off grade. Tonnages are rounded to the nearest 100,000t, lead grades to one decimal place and silver to the nearest gram. Rounding errors may occur when using the above figures.