Mincor Resources has completed the first blasts at the Cassini nickel project and Northern Operations in Western Australia after mining contractor Pit N Portal mobilised at both sites.
Blast firings took place in the first cut of both the Cassini portal and those at Otter Juan and Long mines at the Northern Operations.
Mincor managing director David Southam said the firing of the portal at Cassini was a major milestone, marking the development commencement of the first new nickel mine in the Kambalda region for over 20 years.
New mining equipment has been delivered to both Cassini and Northern Operations, with additional ones to be added over the next six months.
Mincor has filled all key roles for the first stage of development and expects to appoint a mining engineer, surveyor and geotechnical engineer for the operations.
The team has shifted from single-shift to 24/7 double-shift since December.
Southam said the quarter had seen the new operations team, together with its new mining contractor Pit N Portal, commence development at both Cassini and the Northern Operations in line with the definitive feasibility (DFS) timeline.
“After notching up major achievements earlier in the 2020 year, Mincor formally embarked on its journey towards nickel production in the December 2020 quarter – and we are already now well established on that journey,” he said.
Mincor has inked a grid power supply agreement for Cassini with BHP Nickel West, which is expected to bring in a savings of $7-10 million over the next five years.
Southam said this achieved the dual outcome of both reducing costs and enhancing the company’s green credentials.
Mincor’s progress in establishing its operations came at a time when nickel prices soared to $US16,823 ($21,707) per tonne by the end of last year.
The commodity price was sitting at $US18,142 by the close of business yesterday.
Mincor will focus on buildings its workshop facilities, while completing its legal due diligence and project financing documentation during the March quarter.