CXX starts FEED – and savings have already been found

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Aug 12, 2016, in Mining

Cradle Resources (ASX:CXX) has just started front end engineering and design (FFED) work on its Panda Hill niobium project, and it’s already identified savings.

The ASX-listed miner told its shareholders today that FEED work had started on the project, which is forecast to supply 6% of the world’s niobium.

It said a slew of partners, consultants, and service providers had been appointed to the process, and it was already paying dividends.

It said that after review, the tailings dam for the project would cost less than predicted under the project’s definitive feasibility study, with the amount of earthworks needed reduced, therefore reducing up-front costs for the project.

It did not say, however, how much these savings would amount to.

Meanwhile, offtake agreement talks continue in earnest, with CXX telling shareholders that it had entered into negotiations with offtake parties “covering four geographical regions”.

It also updated on its financing efforts, saying that an indicative term sheet for a circa $100 million senior loan was in the process of being prepared.

In addition, the financier is working to secure a loan guarantees under Germany’s “United Loan Guarantee Scheme”, which “cover against economic and political credit default risks”.

Preliminary financing is being pencilled in for the fourth quarter.

CXX and niobium

Niobium has previously been labelled as a ‘space age’ material thanks to its use in products such as modern car bodies, space shuttles, and jet engines.

It is a key ingredient in high-strength, low alloy steel – with its demand set to grow at around 3% per year according to recent reports.

Panda Hill is one of the few niobium projects aiming to come onto the market in the coming years – taking aim at a market which has traditionally been tight.

“This will be the first new niobium producer in 40 years and the only new producer of this rare metal in the foreseeable future,” CXX chairman Craig Burton previously said.

“The demand for niobium continues to grow strongly due to the burgeoning worldwide demand for new-age materials and associated elements like lithium, graphite, and niobium. Panda Hill is only seeking to capture a modest portion of this ongoing demand growth.”

This is still an early play and its impact remains to be seen, so take a cautious approach to any investment decision made with regard to CXX.

The results of the DFS indicated the project would have an annual EBITDA figure of $122 million, based on a project with an upfront capital cost of $196 million and production of 5400 tonnes of niobium per year.

Decision to mine

View Our Investment Portfolios

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.

Australian ASX Small Cap stocks | Why is Australia’s leading small cap publication

Founded seven years ago, is Australia’s leading and longest standing website for investor and finance news, education and expert opinion.

Published by StocksDigital, Finfeed was created to report daily on the comings and goings of ASX listed stocks in the small cap market.

As the first digital publication dedicated specifically to this space, Finfeed soon became the most trusted publication in the market, quickly garnering over two million page views – a number that continues to rise. provides its readers with informative articles that tackle the latest in market moving #ASX small cap news, plus exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. It is aimed at those with an interest in investing, market education, company performance, start-ups and much more. is the only media organisation operating under the strength of a Financial Services License and is backed by leading journalists and analysts all with brands of their own.

The website aims to inform, educate and entertain with content that drills down into the heart of financial matters.

Finfeed is a leading source of investor and market information, with everything investors need to know about how to invest written in a way that anyone can understand. 

Over the years, the website has expanded beyond exclusively reporting on small caps, to profile Australia’s leading ASX listed small, mid and large caps as well as some of the country’s most successful CEOs and business leaders to find out what makes them tick.

Every day you will find fresh content covering:

Fast Facts

Over 4,000 articles published

Over 2.3 Million Page Views and counting

Over 10,000 followers on social media

Subscriber list growing by 2% monthly

Thanks for subscribing!