Cominco Phosphate

Republic of Congo


Cominco Resources under the direction of Andrew Smith completed the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Hinda Phosphate Mega Project, which will be one of the largest phosphate mines in the world. The project comprises a world-class, JORC compliant mineable reserve of 404.9 Mt grading 11% P2O5 with a 24-year Life of Mine, for 4.1Mt of high grade, 32% P2O5 per year.

Cominco has merged with Kropz and listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM (LSE :KRPZ) market on 1 November 2018 with a market capitalisation of £100 million.

Cominco’s project management team have:

  • Delivered a World Bank Standard ESIA conducted by WSP, including an extensive baseline environmental data collection over seven years, ongoing community and stakeholder engagement.
  • Operated three drill rigs (one owned by Cominco) to drill over 925 holes, including resource definition, geotechnical, water pumping, and metallurgical sampling.
  • Negotiated and comprehension mining investment agreement setting out the key obligations of the state and project developer. This included significant tax concessions.
  • Managed extensive metallurgical test work across a number of laboratories around the world, including Florida, Israel, South Africa, Western Australia and Quebec. Large-scale piloting of the complete flow sheet was conducted at Mintek (Johannesburg).

Starter project: 900ktpa phosrock at 30% P205

  • DSO (Direct ship ore) leads to extremely low production cost – no beneficiation, just simple wet screening of high-grade surface mineralization, ROM 20% P205
  • Low CAPEX – starter project will establish production and de-risk mega project. $32M including contingency.
  • Mega Project Production 4.1 Mtpa phosrock at 32% P205
  • Extensive Definitive Feasibility Study: Full-scale pilot production – proved Hinda’s robust flowsheet produces high-quality phosphate rock with cash costs at the bottom quartile of the industry cost curve
  • Open-pit mining starting with 1:1 strip ratio. ROM 13% P205
  • The Hinda Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped phosphate projects, with the mineral resource based on continuous mineralization over 20km of strike. At an average thickness of 60m, the ore body is also the thickest sedimentary phosphate deposit known. Cominco discovered and evaluated the deposit with an intense work programme including a drilling campaign of 929 holes.

The project has been subject to a 929-hole drilling campaign by Cominco to support the mineral reserve and resource as well as geotechnical, hydrogeological and other development needs.

The DFS was coordinated and managed by Ausenco who had responsibility for the design and costing of the beneficiation plant, slurry pipeline, port site and ship loading facilities. SRK (UK) provided the JORC Compliant Ore Reserve Statement, mine design and schedules and mine capital and operating cost estimates, along with all other pit related technical studies.

The environmental and social impact assessment was completed by WSP in May 2016 and a Certificate of Environmental Compliance issued by the Government.

The mining licence application was lodged with Congolese authorities in October 2014 and was granted on the 7th of December 2015.