Prairie Downs Metals (PDZ)

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Prairie Downs Metals (PDZ) is an exploration company, with its primary project being the Prairie Downs Zinc-Lead Project. The company listed on the Australian stockmarket (ASX) in September 1993 as an investment company. Since its voluntary liquidation in November 2000, the company has concentrated its operations in the resources sector.

The company's main project is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which is prospective for zinc-lead deposits. Major competitors include other mining companies within Australia. Customers include wholesalers, the retail sector and international markets.

Exploration History

During the early 1960's base metal mineralisation was initially identified along the Prairie Downs fault from Government regional-scale geological mapping.

Between 1969 and 1974, a mineral exploration company completed detailed mapping, sampling and drilling within the current project area. From then until the late 1980's several companies unsuccessfully explored the general area surrounding the current project for uranium and base metals. Airborne magnetic surveys were undertaken to the north and south of the Prairie Downs fault covering a significant portion of the southern half of the current tenements.

Prairie Downs Base Metals Project

Abesque Engineering & Construction Ltd was engaged in October 2007 to complete a feasibility study covering the process plant and related supporting surface infrastructure. This study is now complete and the results are summarised below.

The process facilities have been designed to treat 500,000 tonnes per annum of base metal ore, which at a 91.3% availability equates to a throughput rate of 62.5 tonnes per hour. It is designed to allow expansion to a throughput of 1,000,000 tpa. The crushing plant will operate on day shift seven days per week. The milling, flotation and dewatering areas will operate around the clock seven days per week. Metallurgical testwork indicates that the process plant will produce 113,240 dry tonnes of zinc concentrate per annum and 18,022 dry tonnes of silver concentrate per annum. The overall zinc recovery is 92%, lead 94.8% and silver 96.1%.

The zinc concentrate will grade 50.3% zinc and 121ppm silver for annual production of 57,000 tonnes of zinc metal and 200,000 ounces of silver metal. The silver concentrate will grade 1255ppm silver and 63.6% lead for annual production of 385,500 ounces of silver metal and 11,700 tonnes of lead metal.

The estimated capital expenditure for the process plant and supporting infrastructure is AUD86 million based on the May 2008 dollar, being made up of a cost for the process plant of AUD52 million at ± 10% and a cost of AUD34 million at ± 20% for the supporting infrastructure.

Operating costs from the ROM pad to delivery of concentrate to Port Hedland (or an equivalent port) have been calculated at AUD41/tonne milled while processing at 500,000 tpa rate. The largest operating cost component is concentrate transport, followed in order by power supplied from gas generators and personnel.

The mining feasibility has not been completed as resource drilling is about to recommence on the Main and Zed Lodes which is expected to lead to a substantial increase in the resource base. In addition the copper discoveries this year and lead discovery last year have improved the probability of discovering open-pittable mineralization. However, based upon pre-feasibility work completed last year, underground mining by long hole open stope or similar is the preferred mining method. Costs are expected to be of the order of $55 per tonne mined including development costs.

Port storage and handling has not been finalized but is assumed to be USD25 per tonne of concentrate and sea freight is assumed to be USD75 per tonne of concentrate. The construction schedule assumes all environmental approvals and government licenses are granted by February 2010. On this basis commissioning is expected in December 2010 and handover in February 2011.

Prairie Downs Metals (PDZ) Products and Services

  • Exploration for zinc, lead and other metals.

Prairie Downs Metals (PDZ) Locations and Subsidiaries

Prairie Downs Metals Head Office
Level 21, Allendale Square, 77 St George's Terrace,
Phone: 08 9225 5755
Fax: 08 9225 4599

Prairie Downs Metals (PDZ) Share Price

Submitted by ASX Listed Company on 20 May, 2010 - 05:41