The Board of Western Areas has announced the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrate plant has processed first ore and is on track to ramp up to steady state production by the end of February.
The plant has a target throughput of about 300,000 tpa ore and has been designed to allow for future expansion.
The crushing circuit, conveyor system, filtration unit and concentrate storage facilities have capacity in-built well above that required at this stage, according to the company.
Western Areas Managing Director Julian Hanna said that the Cosmic Boy plant has been built on time and on budget.
“This is a credit to all the people from GR Engineering and Western Areas who have been involved in the project. The Company is looking to leverage off this high quality facility with improved metallurgical recoveries, flexible treatment options and greater offtake control. This places Western Areas in a position to extract the maximum revenue possible from our nickel product, from the mine to the port,” Hanna said.
An experienced production team is already in place and the Company would like to welcome Plant Manager John Bower, Production Co-ordinators Devon McNeil and Steve Chitteron and a team of Metallurgists, Maintenance Planners, Operators and Technicians who join our Construction and Metallurgy Manager Craig Fitzmaurice.
The first parcels of low grade ore are being processed as planned.
High grade (>4% nickel) ore is due to be processed next week with steady state production expected by the end of February.