Aus Tin clears final regulatory hurdle for stage one development of Taronga tin project

Aus Tin Mining ASX ANW Taronga tin copper silver
Aus Tin Mining has received the final approval to develop its Taronga project, which has a resource of 57,200t of tin, 26,400t copper and 4.4Moz silver.

Aus Tin Mining (ASX: ANW) has received final regulatory approval from the New South Wales’ Department of Planning and Environment for stage one development of its Taronga tin project near Emmaville.

The approval is the culmination of a process which commenced in 2015 and paves the way for Aus Tin to implement a development plan for site establishment and initial mining.

Taronga is the world’s fifth largest undeveloped tin reserve based on a 2013 JORC resource of 57,200 tonnes contained tin, plus 26,400t contained copper and 4.4 million ounces of silver.

Stage one will be funded by a recent $450,000 private placement to sophisticated and professional investors at $0.011 per share, as well as a share purchase plan announced earlier this month for existing shareholders.

Aus Tin proposes a raising of up to $750,000 under the plan which will comprise the issue of 68.1 million new shares.

The company is also progressing discussions with potential offtake partners and associated project funding.

The majority of expenditure for Taronga stage one is forecast for the second half of 2019 to coincide with expected sustained cash flows from the high-grade Granville tin project in Tasmania.

Aus Tin stepped in to commence owner mining operations at Granville in March after mining contractor Jemrok went into liquidation.

Approval milestone

Chairman Brian Moller said final approval had been a long-awaited milestone allowing the company to proceed to proof of concept stage.

“Our program of large-scale trial mining and pilot processing will aim to demonstrate the proof of concept which will enable the development of tin mining operations within one the Australia’s more productive tin fields,” he said.

Mr Moller said the company’s 2014 pre‐feasibility study demonstrated the technical and economic viability of a project treating 2.5 Mt per year of ore to produce an average 2,800t per year of contained tin over a nine year life within the second‐quartile of global cash cost.

In 2015, the company commenced the approvals process to undertake trial mining and pilot processing of 340,000t of ore to evaluate several areas of potential upside including resource grade, tin recovery, recovery of by-product credits and the assessment of resource extension and exploration upside.

High price point

Tin is a high‐value metal used primarily for soldering in electronics and has identified potential growth through the energy generation and storage markets, specifically in the areas of electric vehicles, advanced robotics and renewal energy.

According to the London Metals Exchange, tin inventories are at historically-low levels and the lack of new mines being developed is set to exacerbate a long‐term global deficit.

The Australian dollar tin price has been trending upwards and recently exceeded the $30,000/tonne price point which has not been seen since 2011.

Mt Cobalt

The Taronga news follows Aus Tin’s announcement last week of shallow intersections grading up to 1.6% nickel at its Mt Cobalt project, 40km west of Gympie in Queensland.

Last month, the company completed five diamond drill holes for 153.6m to test potential extensions of mineralisation below and along strike from historic workings at the project site.

Best results were 0.9m at 1.62% nickel and 125 parts per million cobalt from 16.4m; and 0.4m at 1.19% nickel and 149ppm cobalt from 11.6m.

Assays also confirmed the existence of shear zones north and west of previous drilling sites known to host the high‐grade cobalt‐manganese oxide, asbolite.

Mr Moller said the company would continue to explore the northern extension “in due course”.

At mid-morning, shares in Aus Tin were trading 9.09% higher at $0.012.

Imelda Cotton has over 20 years experience as a journalist and communications professional. She has spent the bulk of her career in the resources sector, having also worked directly with oil and gas majors and as a journalist covering a vast array of ASX listed companies within the resources, energy, science and health sectors.