AKORA Resources Funding To Drive DSO Iron Ore Mining Credentials At Bekisopa

AKORA Resources (ASX: AKO) has completed a capital raising of $3.8 million to move to the pre-feasibility study stage at its Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) iron ore mine in Madagascar.

The raising was pitched at $0.15 per share. The largest shareholder Futureworld Management and new directors Graeme Hunt and Matthew Gill committed to the raise.

AKORA is developing a high-grade Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) iron ore mine in Madagascar.

The company has a Scoping Study under its belt that highlighted the attractive economics of developing the Bekisopa iron ore project.

It would produce up to 2Mt per annum over the first five years of 61% Fe average grade direct shipping ore (DSO) for shipping to Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) steelmakers.

Green credentials

Steel is critical in a decarbonising world. Steel demand is forecast to grow to around 2.7 billion tonnes by 2050.

Globally, electrification requires an enormous amount of steel which is used in  EVs, solar power, and wind turbines.

Madagascar – the land of heavyweights

Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean 400km off the east coast of Mozambique, southeastern Africa.

Some of the world’s largest miners operate in Madagascar including Rio Tinto and Sumitomo which operates the Ambatovy Project, one of the world’s largest nickel mines.

Rio Tinto and the Sumitomo-Korea Resources-SNC-Lavalin consortium are the largest investors in the mining sector in Madagascar with the 2006 Fort Dauphin mineral sands and 2010 Ambatovy laterite nickel developments respectively.

It does not stop there. Madagascar contains gold, nickel, cobalt, heavy mineral sands, bauxite, coal, and petroleum products.

The country is also host to other numerous commodities including copper, zinc, cobalt, chromite, coal, uranium, and a growing graphite industry.

The Bekisopa Iron Ore Project

The high-grade iron ore project has a 6km strike length and an Inferred Resource of 194.7 million tonnes.

There exists the potential to expand the high-grade Bekisopa Iron Ore Project’s initial 4.4 million tonne Indicated DSO Resource.

This is after 52 out of 65 shallow drill holes completed in October 2023 across the northern and central zones intercepted high-grade iron mineralisation.

There is outcropping and weathered zone DSO iron ore and the potential to produce a premium grade +68% iron concentrate suitable for Direct Reduced Iron pellets for a green steel future.

Bekisopa Scoping study highlights

  • Annual production 2Mt
  • Initial mine life 5 years
  • Capital Cost US$55m
  • Cash flow (pre-tax) US$270m
  • NPV10 (pre-tax) US$125m
  • IRR (pre-tax) 64%
  • Capital payback 2.1 years
  • C1 Cash Cost (FOB)  US$42/wmt

This would deliver US$50 million cash from year 3.

Drilling in the North and Central Zones will add DSO tonnes and additional mine life to the Pre-feasibility Study.

Early cash flow generation

To generate cash in the near term, AKORA is advancing plans to produce up to 2Mt per annum over the first five years of DSO.

This would generate US$50m pre-tax at year 3 and US$100m cash flow at the 2 million tonne rate.

Buyers would most likely be Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) steelmakers.

New appointments

Former BHP Iron Ore President Graeme Hunt was appointed as AKORA’s new Non-Executive Chairman.

Experienced mining operations and project developer Jason Whittle was appointed as General Manager of development.

Matthew Gill was also a significant addition to the board of directors.

Summary

The low capex, high margin, strong cash flow, and early DSO production profile lend themselves toward projected strong PFS financial metrics.

The CAPEX appears very reasonable relative to projected returns and the modest market cap of AKORA of $15 million.

 

 

 

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