NSL Consolidated is set to resume iron ore sales from its Indian operations by the end of September. The ASX-listed company was due to resume production by the end of July after receiving Aus$1.16 million in funds from a placement. It says the resumption comes at a good time with Indian domestic iron ore demand and prices increasing.
NSL secured commitments predominately from existing top 40 shareholders and Board/management for the placement of 116 million fully paid shares. The placement will occur in two tranches, with up to 112,777,980 million shares being issued under the company’s 15% and additional 10% placement capacity and the balance subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting.
The company is ramping up production in two concurrent phases. There is about 200,000 tonnes of low grade ore stockpiled on site. This was developed during extensive trial mining during 2013. Testing indicates the material can be upgraded at the company’s existing dry beneficiation plant to a circa 55% iron product suitable for domestic sale.
NSL is transporting the stockpiles to its Kurnool stockyard and processing the material through existing plant and equipment. Based on existing operating parameters and subsequent testing it is anticipated that:
- The company will be able to monthly transport about 25,000 tonnes of stockpiled material from AP23 to the dry beneficiation plant at the stockyard;
- The material can be upgraded at the dry plant to a circa 55% iron product suitable for domestic sale;
- The company can expect this to produce about 7000 tonnes per month of saleable material suitable for domestic sale; and
- At this rate, the anticipated cost per tonne is Aus$28 per tonne.
It is anticipated that six months after recommencement of operations NSL will have constructed a standalone dry separation plant on site at AP23 to continue processing in situ material amenable to the dry separation process. The AP23 dry beneficiation plant will be a low-cost mobile plant and will have the same design capacity as the existing stockyard plant, being 16,700 tonnes per month of iron ore lumps.
The phase two wet beneficiation plant proposed for the existing NSL stockyard will be fed material from NSL’s Kuja and Mangal mines. It is anticipated that construction of this plant will occur in the 12 months after recommencement of phase one dry beneficiation processing operations.
NSL has also been promoting its AP14 project through meetings with officials from the new state of Telangana. The meetings have demonstrated that the officials are well aware of the project and its potential benefits – use of low-grade resources, focus on value adding, potential employment and the fact that the scale of the project makes it amenable to future steel activities.