Updated and expanded 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) to be released in July 2019
June 4, 2019
Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value elements and industrial minerals, together with its joint venture partner, USA Rare Earth, LLC is pleased to announce plans to release an updated and expanded PEA in July 2019.
The expanded 2019 PEA will include an updated resource estimate, adding Lithium, Hafnium, Beryllium, Scandium and Gallium oxides, as well as industrial minerals such as the sulfates of Aluminum, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium. Eight of these additional minerals are on the U.S. Government “Critical Minerals List”, finalized in February 2018.
There will also be an expansion of the ion exchange processing techniques to be used at Round Top, and updated current market mineral pricing will be incorporated into the economic model. TMRC management and USA Rare Earth will hold a joint conference call upon release of the PEA.
Highlights of the 2013 Round Top PEA include:
Mine Life: 20 years, based on mining only 18% of the existing Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate. Realistic mine life in excess of 100 years.
Net Present Value (NPV): $1.47 billion at a pre-tax 10% discount rate, based on 20-year mine life
Internal Rate of Return (IRR): 69%
Payback Period: 1.5 years
Capital Cost: $292.7 million, including a complete on-site rare earth oxide (REO) separation plant, and a contingency provision in the amount of $58.5 million. Among the lowest capital outlays in the world rare earth mining sector
Mining Rate: 20,000 tonnes per day (TPD)
Approximate Weighted Average Total Rare Earth Recoveries: 71.5%
Production of REOs at site: Deployment of proven technology to generate high purity individual rare earth oxides at the site
REO Production: Averaging 3,325 tonnes per year (“TPY”) total, including approximately 2,569 TPY of HREE+ Y. Full production includes 198 TPY of dysprosium oxide and 1,645 TPY of yttrium oxide
Heap Leach Processing Technology: Proven conventional technology utilizing leach pads built to Texas Environmental Standards
Direct Employment: Approximately 325 employees
Ease of Shipping Access: Only 3 miles north of Interstate Highway 10 and within 3 miles of a major railroad. El Paso airport is 85 miles northwest
Near Term, High Value Production: Relatively high percentage (70%) of REOs strategically critical to the U.S. defense, clean energy, aerospace, supercomputing and transportation sectors: including dysprosium (Dy) and yttrium (Y)
Located on State Property: 6.25% Net Smelter Royalty (“NSR”) owed to Texas General Land Office (“GLO”)
“For less than the cost of a single Navy F-35C fighter jet, the Round Top mine could be brought into production,” said Dan Gorski, CEO of TMRC and Director of Operations of USA Rare Earth. “With the range of critical rare earths present at Round Top and the addition of resources for six U.S.-Government listed Critical Minerals, this single project could meet the Department of Defense’s rare earth needs and offer a strategic reserve of key critical minerals as well. Round Top, unlike other projects that have unfavorable economics and have previously struggled, has a low CapEx and OpEx as a result of the ability to heap-leach the rock, high REO recoveries and existing major infrastructure in place.”
“Rare Earths are the building blocks of metals used in multiple essential applications – and access to them will determine the U.S.’s ability to build and sustain the advanced manufacturing capacities needed for economic competitiveness and military strength,” said Pini Althaus, CEO of USA Rare Earth. “Whatever the outcome of the trade negotiations with China, the United States’ need for rare earths will only grow. We are very encouraged by steps the U.S. Government is taking to support domestic rare earth projects.”
TMRC is also pleased to announce that the White House CEQ has approved and advanced Texas governor Greg Abbott’s request to designate the Round Top project as a “High Priority Infrastructure Project”. Final approval is pending with the FPISC. By way of background, Executive Order 13766, signed by President Trump on January 24, 2017, established a new system by which to fast-track the construction of infrastructure projects. The Order directed executive agencies to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects that are deemed a “high priority to the nation” and should be granted preference in the licensing process. Governors of States and executive agency heads may request that the Chairman of the White House CEQ approve infrastructure projects that meet certain criteria. Once approved by the CEQ, projects are then advanced to the FPISC for final approval.
“Irrespective of the outcome, the current trade dispute between the United States and China should serve as a wake-up call to the United States for the urgent need to create a domestic rare earth supply chain,” commented Anthony Marchese, chairman. “The United States can no longer sit idly by and watch adversarial foreign governments pour massive amounts of capital into a supply chain whose output is embedded in virtually every product purchased by the DoD. The free market cannot solve problems where major industry participants are not willing to adhere to free market principles. Such remains the case in the rare earth supply chain. Suggestions that encourage domestic sourcing, such as “Buy America” clauses in federal contracts, are a step in the right direction. The Round Top project further positions Texas as a potential center of a revived U.S. rare earth supply chain.”