Greenland-focused Ironbark Zinc has signed a memorandum of understanding with Byrnecut Offshore Pty that could see the contractor carry out mining, model underground mine costs and provide the fleet for the Citronen zinc-lead project.
The contract has been signed as Ironbark carries out work on removing key items from the project’s capital cost estimates. A definitive feasibility study last year pegged this at $514 million.
Ironbark said the Byrnecut agreement provides it with “extensive international experience in underground hard-rock mechanised mining”.
It said the companies would work towards a more detailed cost based commercial agreement operating under agreed margins through each project stage, and will also encompass agreed performance margins. As part of the agreement, Byrnecut is also expected to hold the debt and security of the equipment for the underground mining fleet.
Ironbark is in discussions with other groups for the remaining disciplines, or to support the project, that have the potential to collectively and significantly assist with the overall project financing.
The $514 million project envisages a production rate of 3.3 million tonnes per year with up to 200,000 t/y of zinc metal produced over a mine life of 14 years.
Located in northern Greenland, Byrnecut’s first-hand knowledge of the skills necessary to overcome remote location logistics, language barriers and upskilling the national workforce will prove key to development and operating success.
Ironbark Managing Director Jonathan Downes said: “Byrnecut has the capacity to provide Ironbark with an immediate ‘bolt-on’ underground mining expertise that will assist Ironbark as we move from financing to active mining.”