YAML has historically been involved in minerals exploration, mine development and operations, and more recently focussed on the identification and evaluation of near term mining opportunities.
YAML previously owned, developed and successfully operated the Spinifex Ridge Iron Ore Mine located in Western Australia.
In 2010, YAML developed the Spinifex Ridge Iron Ore Mine which operated successfully until 2014, producing direct shipping ore exported through Port Hedland. In mid-2013, after operating the Spinifex Ridge Iron Ore Mine for approximately two and a half years, YAML completed a mine gate sale agreement for iron ore produced at YAML’s Spinifex Ridge Iron Ore Mine, thus disposing of its main undertaking. The money generated from the mining operation and the mine gate sale has been preserved to invest in future mining opportunities.
YAML currently only owns the Spinifex Ridge molybdenum-copper project located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The project was progressed to full permitting and definitive feasibility study in 2008. Subsequently, the development of the project was postponed as the project’s economics did not support the funding for the development of the project and a final investment decision. The project currently remains on care and maintenance.
In early 2018, YAML completed the acquisition of Queensland Mining Corporation Limited (“QMC”) with the intention to develop its flagship copper project, White Range. White Range is centred approximately 40km south of Cloncurry in north west Queensland and contains a total JORC compliant resource of 29.3 Mt @ 0.82% Copper, 0.2g/t Gold and 0.03% Cobalt. The project consists of three main deposits at Greenmount, Kuridala and Young Australian plus several smaller deposits at Mt McCabe, Vulcan and Desolation along with numerous advanced exploration prospects.
A pre-feasibility study conducted in 2005 indicated the project has an annual production of 15,000-20,000t of copper cathode for a mine life of more than 10 years. Recent drilling results have significantly improved the economics of the project.
YAML considers that White Range has strong potential to be brought into production and intends to shortly commence work to bring the project to development.
Ongoing exploration work (e.g., current drilling at the Young Australian deposit) suggests the potential for a higher head grade and additional Resources from existing deposits. This exploration work highlights the substantial prospectivity and the potential value upside associated with the project assets, in addition to the stated JORC Mineral Resources.
The copper market has seen strong supply-demand fundamentals over the past 12 months, underpinned by expectations of strong demand from top consumer China. The metal, used in power and construction, has seen benchmark prices on the London Metal Exchange rise more than 20 per cent this year. Moreover, the consensus view among brokers is that tight supply in the global refined copper market would result in the base case for copper remaining solid, with few indications that demand will slow.
YAML believes that the White Range purchase will allow it to take advantage of this projected strong demand cycle and bring the project into operation during a period of forecast solid copper prices.