Mincor Resources has given the Kambalda nickel project in Western Australia the nod to proceed development, breaking a four-year hiatus at the operations.
The development approval comes as Mincor secured agreements with two international banks, BNP Paribas and Société Générale, for a $55 million loan facility to support the project development.
Mincor anticipates mobilisation to ramp up quickly over the coming weeks, with surface construction reaching a full swing during the December quarter.
The company is targeting ore production for the next corresponding period.
Pit N Portal, Emeco’s underground mining services business, will now commence its five-year contract at the Kambalda operations, where it plans to invest up to $15 million in the first half of 2021 to support the project.
Emeco managing director Ian Testrow said the company had already commenced the early works on site, which was progressing well.
“It is a great honour to be announcing a final investment decision which heralds Mincor’s return to nickel mining in Kambalda after a hiatus of some four years,” Mincor managing director David Southam said.
“We are now on the cusp of realising our vision to resume profitable and sustainable nickel sulphide mining in the Kambalda district, and to do so in an environmentally responsible and ethical manner that will see this great nickel province return to the forefront of class-one nickel production globally.
“We are doing this at a particularly exciting time in the nickel market as a new wave of nickel demand emerges, driven by the electrification of the global transport fleet and the rapid growth of the lithium-ion battery industry globally.”
The Kambalda operations are forecast to produce 71,000 tonnes of nickel and 5000 tonnes of copper on a life-of-mine (LOM) basis.
This will peak in a production of more than 16,000 tonnes of nickel-in-concentrate a year at a LOM unit cost of $US2.35 ($3.36) per pound.