Following a detailed assessment, TNG Limited (ASX: TNG) has elected to construct its downstream TIVAN processing facility at its Mount Peake mine site instead of the previous proposed industrial site in Darwin, Northern Territory.
In collaboration with global engineering and technology company SMS Group, TNG has identified the Mount Peake mine site, which is 235km north of Alice Springs as the “preferred alternative” to the initially selected at Darwin’s Middle Arm industrial precinct.
This new strategy for the TIVAN plant will involve developing an integrated and consolidated single mining and processing operation on the existing mining leases at its Mount Peake project.
TNG managing director and chief executive officer Paul Burton said the decision was a “significant milestone” for the company.
“This is the most important change to the configuration of the Mount Peake project since the completion of the feasibility study and, importantly, it gives certainty to all of our key stakeholders, our project financiers, our shareholder and everyone else who has followed our journey to-date.”
Mr Burton added co-locating the TIVAN plant the mine site would deliver a “host of strategic and logistical benefits”, while also de-risking the project’s development pathway.
“We are now working with our key engineering and contracting partners to develop an updated project delivery schedule and to move ahead with permitting as quickly as possible.”
Advantages to relocating TIVAN plant
TNG and SMS’s review found the “vast majority of deliverables” from the recently completed front-end engineering and design study could be applied at the project site with “only minor modifications”.
TNG says the key benefits for the alternative site were consolidation of common non-process infrastructure, and a reduction in construction requirements as well as waste and tailing disposal costs.
The alternative site will also allow an optimised process layout with simplified commissioning at just one location.
Other advantages include streamlined power arrangements, less anticipated downtime from inclement weather and a reduction in double handling with the ability to feed the magnetite concentrate produced at site via the beneficiation plant directly into the TIVAN processing facility.
The move will also reduce the risk in the final permitting process and open up the option of using the Adelaide Port in South Australian instead of being restricted to Darwin.
The mining lease for the Mount Peake mine site already allows for minerals processing and the lease is large enough to accommodate the proposed fully integrated option.
Financiers affirm support, work advances
With the decision to move the TIVAN plant to the mine site, TNG noted its project financiers and advisers had iterated continued support for the proposed integrated operation.
TNG will work with all key contractors and groups on an updated detailed project schedule for the consolidation plan. It doesn’t anticipate a different time frame for completion of works and approvals had the plant remained in Darwin.
The NT Environmental Protection Authority has already provided TNG with a clear roadmap relating to the approval process for the TIVAN plant being located at the mine site.
“The company notes that this roadmap has a higher degree of certainty and is potentially shorter than the current requirement associated with the Darwin site,” TNG stated.