Technology Metals Australia (TMT) says it has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with APA Group under which TMT and APA have agreed to investigate the provision of gas transportation services along a new gas pipeline to be developed by APA from the south to supply gas to the Gabanintha vanadium project, in Western Australia.
In return, TMT would enter a take or pay tariff over an agreed period linked to the life of the project.
The proposed new pipeline is shorter than the gas pipeline contemplated in the Gabanintha definitive feasibility study (DFS) and is, therefore, expected to deliver material operating cost savings from lower gas transportation charges than those included in the study, the company said.
TMT and APA have agreed to an exclusivity period on negotiation of the gas transportation services for the term of the MoU during which they will negotiate and endeavour to agree the transaction documents.
TMT Managing Director, Ian Prentice, said: “We are very pleased to have entered into this agreement with APA on the development of a proposed new gas pipeline; providing low risk delivery of gas to the project, cost reductions compared to the DFS as well as the opportunity to source gas from the significantly closer emerging Perth basin gas fields.
“APA is a leading Australian energy infrastructure business with 20 years’ experience in building, owning and operating gas pipelines. We will be working together to develop a reliable energy solution for the Gabanintha vanadium project. This represents another key milestone as we progress the development of this lowest cost quartile, large scale, long-life world-class vanadium project.”
The DFS for the Gabanintha vanadium project proposes using natural gas as the heating energy in the roasting kiln and other parts of the process circuit and for electricity generation. The project’s expected maximum and average daily consumption of natural gas is 10.67 Tj and 6.28 Tj, respectively.
The location of proposed new pipeline, which is designed to come from a point to the east of Mt Magnet and extend around 152 km north to the project, is expected to enhance the opportunity for TMT to secure cost competitive gas supply from the rapidly emerging Perth Basin, with potential to further reduce gas transportation charges for the project, the company said.
The Gabanintha DFS outlined an operation with a 16-year-plus mine life, operating at an average vanadium pentoxide production rate of 27.9 MIb/y. This came with a pre-production capital cost of $318 million and operating costs of $4.04/Ib of V2O5.