12:13:50 EDT Sun 22 Apr 2018
Enter Symbol
or Name

Tasman Metals Ltd
Symbol C : TSM
Shares Issued 59,570,982
Close 2012-07-10 C$ 1.50
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Tasman Metals applies for Norra Karr mining lease

2012-07-11 08:53 ET - News Release

Mr. Mark Saxon reports


Tasman Metals Ltd. has achieved a significant milestone in the development of the company, with the submission of an application for a mining lease (ML) covering the Norra Karr heavy rare earth element (REE) and zirconium (Zr) project in Sweden. Given Norra Karr was virtually unknown as an REE project prior to Tasman's first drilling program in December, 2009, the application for a mining lease in such a short time frame is particularly notable. The application documents for the ML were prepared by consulting group Golder Associates AB and have been submitted to the Swedish Mining Inspectorate (Bergsstaten). Tasman anticipates processing of the ML application by the Bergsstaten shall take approximately six months.

The filing of this ML application required that Tasman complete extensive environmental monitoring, flora and fauna surveys, anthropological and social impact studies, ground water testing, leach testing of waste rock, community and stakeholder meetings, and basic infrastructure planning for the Norra Karr site. A granted ML under the Swedish Mining Act is valid for 25 years, when it is available for renewal.

Tasman's 100-per-cent-owned Norra Karr project is the only NI 43-101-compliant REE resource in mainland Europe. Norra Karr lies 15 kilometres north-northeast of the township of Granna and 300 km southwest of the capital Stockholm in mixed forestry and farming land. The short time taken from discovery to ML application demonstrates the efficiency and advantage of operating in a jurisdiction with a strong and transparent Mining Act and a long-term association with resource industries. The project is proximal to road, rail, power and operating ports, plus skilled personnel, minimizing the need for offsite infrastructure to be built by the company.

Norra Karr is one of the largest and most economically robust projects amongst its peers, due to the high contribution of the high-value critical REEs (dysprosium (Dy), yttrium (Y), neodymium (Nd) and terbium (Tb)). Substantial capital and operating cost benefits are provided by the existing infrastructure and the simple mineralogy that allows ambient temperature and pressure processing. Norra Karr's proximity and easy road access to European markets stands as a unique operating advantage for the project.

"Submitting this mine lease application is a major step forward in the development of our flagship Norra Karr project. The location of this project in Sweden, with a simple and well-tested Mining Act, easy all year-round operating conditions and excellent existing infrastructure has allowed progress to be made at a fast pace," said Mark Saxon, Tasman's president and chief executive officer. "I congratulate and thank Tasman's staff and the consultants at Golder Associates for their assistance in achieving this milestone so early in the life of the company."

Tasman recently reported on an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Norra Karr, completed by Pincock Allen & Holt of Denver, United States. The PEA was press released on the March 21, 2012, the full report for which can be found on the company's website, on SEDAR or on EDGAR. The PEA was based on an open-pittable recoverable resource of 58.1 million tonnes grading 0.59 per cent TREO (total rare earth oxide) where 50.0 per cent of the TREO is the high value heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) and 1.70 per cent ZrO2 (zirconium oxide) in the inferred and indicated categories. The current assumptions (see attached table) are for a mining rate of 1.5 million tonnes per year with average TREO recoveries of 80 per cent and average ZrO2 recovery of 60 per cent. Average annual mixed TREO concentrate production is forecast to be 6,800 tonnes including 290 tonnes of dysprosium oxide (Dy2O3), 43 tonnes of terbium oxide (Tb2O3), 773 tonnes of neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) and 2,360 tonnes of yttrium oxide (Y2O3).

Based upon the total capital cost estimate of $290-million over a 1.5-year construction period, the before tax net present value at a 10-per-cent discount rate and conservative metal pricing is $1,464-million as detailed in the attached table. Payback on the project is within three years from the start of production, and generates a pretax internal rate of return of 49.6 per cent.

The qualified person for the company's exploration projects, Mark Saxon, president and chief executive officer of Tasman and a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, who has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.


                                                           Year                Year
                                                    Year    Year     3-20      21-40
Production                              Units         1       2      (avg.)    (avg.)

Total tonnes mined (ore plus waste)       Mt        2.91     2.54     2.82      2.58      
Strip ratio                          (waste:ore)    2.86     1.24     0.87      0.75      
Tonnes processed                          Mt         752    1,133    1,504     1,458      
Grade TREO                                 %        0.53     0.56     0.58      0.60      
Grade ZrO2                                 %        1.61     1.60     1.64      1.77      
Recovery TREO                              %         80%      80%      80%       80%       
Recovery ZrO2                              %         60%      60%      60%       60%       
Mixed TREO concentrate                  Tonnes     3,165    5,067    6,946     7,004      
Zirconium carbonate concentrate         Tonnes     7,260   10,893   14,831    15,492     


                                                       First 20 years     40-year mine life
                                                       (million Cdn $)   (million Cdn $)

Total revenue                                             $5,275.3            $10,858.5
Initial capital expenditures (including contingency)         290.2                290.2
Sustaining capital expenditures                               74.1                217.1
Royalty payments                                              13.2                 27.2
Mine reclamation costs                                        10.9                 10.9
Total before-tax cash flow (undiscounted)                  3,419.4              7,376.1
Before-tax NPV at 10%                                      1,214.7              1,464.1
Before-tax NPV at 12%                                      1,015.9              1,168.0
Before-tax NPV at 14%                                        855.0                949.4
Before-tax IRR (%)                                           49.6%                49.6%
Before-tax payback period (years)                              2.6                  2.6
Long-term average REE basket price                        US$51.00             US$51.00
REE basket price discounted for refining                  US$31.60             US$31.60

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