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Despite inflationary pressures impacting the mining sector, Australian resources company Centrex has made a substantial cut to its capital expenditure (capex) guidance for the expansion of the Ardmore phosphate mine, in Queensland.

The budgeted capex to complete the Stage 1.5 expansion, targeting 625 000 t/y of production, has been reduced from A$25.7-million to A$17.6-million.

Centrex explained that the Stage 1.5 expansion was an interim step towards the 800 000 t/y Stage 2 expansion, as contemplated in the 2021 definitive feasibility study.

Stage 1.5 represents 80% of the production output of Stage 2, while requiring significantly less capital.

“The Stage 1.5 expansion remains a highly capital-efficient and attractive development pathway for Ardmore,” said CEO and MD Robert Mencel.

The reduction in spending on Stage 1.5 capital items was mainly attributed to ongoing project optimisation, leading to a refined capex profile. Furthermore, Centrex had been able to use its Stage 1 operating cash flows, previously raised equity capital and hire purchase financing for a new crushing circuit to partially fund the capex of Stage 1.5 incurred to date.

Centrex is in discussions regarding the financing of the expansion.