First Tin (LSE:1SN) is on track with undertaking step out drilling of the current resource at its Taronga project in Australia in order to expand the resource, with first results due by the end of 2022.
To date, both of First Tin’s flagship projects in Germany (Tellerhäuser) and Australia (Taronga) are at the same stage of development and the company aims to finalise the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and the permitting for each by the end of 2023.
Speaking to Mining.com.au ahead of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney in November where the company will showcase its assets, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buenger said both assets are located in low-risk, conflict-free jurisdictions near good infrastructure, contributing to low start-up capex forecasted for each.
“The drilling program at Taronga aims to do step out drilling of the current resource in order to expand the resource statement and we expect the first results by end of 2022.
Both of the drilling programs will execute twin drilling to feed the needs of the DFS. The drilling program at Tellerhäuser will add further indication to the inferred resources, needed for resource expansion.”
Taronga in Australia was acquired in 2022 as part of the London-headquartered company’s IPO back in April 2022, and benefits from over one century of development, including extensive drilling, tunnelling, and mining. Like Tellerhäuser, the Taronga asset is surrounded by excellent existing infrastructure and abundant underexplored tin showings, providing major exploration upside potential. Significant exploration work was undertaken by BHP (ASX:BHP) in 1933, 1958, and 1964, and by a Newmont joint venture from 1979-1983.
The Taronga deposit is one of the simplest hard rock tin projects in the world and consists of coarse cassiterite within sheeted veins that tend to break open preferentially on crushing. It outcrops, sits on a hill and is readily mineable as a low strip ratio open pit.
According to Buenger, both projects will play an important part in the global tin market as significant suppliers. At present, the main mining countries for tin are Indonesia, Myanmar, China, Kongo, Bolivia, and Australia. Only a small proportion of tin is mined in tier one jurisdictions, while 40% of tin is mined via artisanal mining, which is known to generate significant environmental damage like other non-tier one jurisdictions as well.
“The global annual tin market has an actual size of 380,000t, with around 80,000-100,000t produced from recycling and 280,000 to 300,000t produced from mining. Global demand for tin has significantly increased in recent years driven by the global demand for clean energy and technological revolutions. As a result, the International Tin Association (ITA) forecasts that there will be demand for an additional 100,000t of tin annually, until 2030.
Tin has been identified and qualified as a critical raw material in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia and is vital in any plan to decarbonise and electrify the world.
First Tin’s German and Australian tin assets, which are scheduled to come into production in 2025, are ideally located to deliver sustainable and conflict-free tin production in the future. Together the assets represent the 5th largest undeveloped tin reserve globally, outside of Russia, Kazakhstan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Both assets are located in low-risk, conflict-free jurisdictions and are located near good infrastructure, contributing to the very low projected start-up capex projected for each. Established reserves and simple mineralogy create a quick path to production and both assets also have active mining licenses granted over them.
“First Tin’s aim is to become a leading global tin producer that will supply fully traceable and verifiable tin units into fast-growth global industries which have a high requirement for this critical metal”
First Tin’s aim is to become a leading global tin producer that will supply fully traceable and verifiable tin units into fast-growth global industries which have a high requirement for this critical metal.”
Tin is an incredibly important commodity. The CEO notes that, among other uses, tin is vital in all electrical equipment and therefore is essential for the global clean energy and technological revolutions. Its biggest use, however, is in semiconductors.
“Over 50% of the world’s tin is used as an electronic solder for joining circuit boards. Demand for semiconductor is surging and the global semiconductor market is projected to double in the next five years (from approximately US$400 billion in 2021 to US$803 billion in 2028).
The strong growth is driven by demand for emerging technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles, (revenue from this segment alone is growing at a 5-year CAGR of 21%), artificial intelligence, 5G, internet of things as well as consumer electronics.
Tin also has a big role to play in the growth of solar PV, with solder ribbon used to join solar panels. That represented 7500t of tin use in 2016, with the International Tin Association predicting the market will double by 2030 as the usage of solar renewable energy rises.”
Tin is also used as a chemical in making flat glass panels, stabilises PVC and plastics, plating for steel cans and is contained in both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, as it essentially ‘turbo charges’ lithium. The current best technologies for lithium-ion batteries involve tin anodes, which enable significantly faster recharge than any other technology.
With assets in both Australia and Europe, First Tin opted to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) rather than the ASX as a significant proportion of institutional investors with mining investments are based in London with favourable access to capital.
Also, Buenger notes that a number of the company’s seed investors are based in London.
The company’s direct peers are Cornish Metals, Stellar, Elementos and AfriTin.
With IMARC in Sydney just around the corner, Buenger said First Tin aims to develop its relationships with its current investors and attract potential investors, and IMARC presents a good opportunity to showcase in particular our Australian Taronga project to the interested investors and mining community in Australia and globally.
First Tin is an ethical, reliable, and sustainable tin development company with advanced, low capex projects. The company is focused on becoming a tin supplier in conflict-free, low political risk jurisdictions through the rapid development of high value, low capex tin assets in Germany and Australia.
IMARC will be held 2-4 November in Sydney. A discount code which is MINING offers 10% off standard delegate passes, or otherwise enables interested parties to receive an expo pass for free. Investors can apply for a complimentary investor pass to attend at https://imarcglobal.com/register
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au
Images: First Tin Ltd & iStock