OZ Minerals will proceed to the next stage of a farm-in agreement with Cassini Resources at the West Musgrave nickel-copper project in Western Australia by investing $19 million.
Adelaide-based OZ, which can earn 51 per cent of West Musgrave with the investment, made the decision to launch a pre-feasibility study (PFS) at the project following positive results from a scoping study.
The study examined project scale options and management of technical risks, confirming positive economic outcomes for a large, low cost mine.
OZ’s investment will be used to advance PFS work on West Musgrave’s Nebo-Babel deposits and exploration activities in the broader project area.
According to Cassini managing director Richard Bevan and OZ chief executive Andrew Cole, the study results supported further investment to refine project scope, extend mine life and investigate the optimal project configuration.
Bevan said the study advanced the development of the Nebo-Babel deposits.
“The increased scale of the project has opened up a range of possibilities beyond what we had originally contemplated, with potential for further upside to be realised in the upcoming PFS,” Bevan said.
“We have an initial eight years of mine life with clear view on increasing this to beyond 15 years.”
Bevan said the exploration program would expand understanding of the mineralisation at One Tree Hill and the Succoth copper deposit.
Cole said the scoping study confirmed the economic viability of Nebo-Babel and increased OZ’s confidence in the potential of the project.
“Investment will be made during the PFS to focus on inferred to indicated resource conversion for inclusion into the mining inventory thereby extending mine life within the current pre-production capital profile,” Cole said.
“The geological style at Nebo-Babel shows good consistency for conversion. The PFS will also focus on further improving the metallurgical recoveries.”
OZ will manage the PFS process, while Cassini will continue to oversee on-ground activities associated with the PFS and the regional exploration program.