Whittle Consulting (“WCPL”) has reported on the first phase of the Enterprise Optimisation study for the Blötberget Project. This phase of the optimisation work is confined to the parameters used in the Feasibility Study, and within these restrictions, an increase of more than 30% has been recognized for the project NPV at an 8% discount rate.
The Feasibility Study planning for Blötberget from 2019 was thorough and in principle well done. WCPL finalised an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) model leveraging the detail in the financial model and using the development design and costs from the Feasibility Study. The optimized production schedule generated by WCPL software (Prober) added value over the manual schedule developed previously.
In addition, new mining shapes were developed by Mining Plus (Bristol/Toronto) based on net value per tonne information generated by WCPL. A genetic algorithm optimizer, along with Prober, chose the net value cut-off shapes and the mining sequence to maximize NPV. The Prober scheduling methodology added significantly to the project NPV.
Nordic Iron Ore and Mining Plus have reviewed and are comfortable with the resulting schedule and development plan. The total pre-tax project NPV8 improvement to date is USD 33.93M.
NPV at an 8% discount rate as of today is USD 145.4M. The pre-tax IRR (unleveraged) is 19.1%.
The optimisation work will continue in October with several scenarios, including a front-end loader instead of an automated loader at the rail terminal, haulage by truck to surface with no conveyor, a revised process flow and adding in some additional historical resource.
Other possible cases to be considered include enforcing the processing power limit (theory of constraints), increased mine development rates, increased mining unit (stoping) limits, flexing iron prices, a coarse grind option, applying contractor mining, contractor crushing, and capital reduction based on alternate infrastructure layouts and requirements.
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