Panoramic Resources is only weeks away from shipping first concentrate from its Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project as recommissioning of the Western Australian operation accelerates.
The company has progressed the recommissioning ahead of the planned shipment in early February despite recruitment concerns and unscheduled events.
Its ramp up of production at the East Kimberley site is ongoing and processing has this month achieved throughput of more than 2000 tonnes per day.
Panoramic is focused on recruitment for the mine in a challenging market for skills, with 60 roles in key areas still to be filled.
Peter Harold, Panoramic managing director, said activities at the site had gathered momentum in the past few months after a two-and-a-half year hiatus despite the challenges.
“We still need to fill a number of positions, particularly in mining and maintenance, and that, together with some unscheduled events, slowed the ramp up of mining, however we have identified the issues and have plans in place to resolve these,” Harold said.
“The mill has ramped up to nameplate capacity and we have booked our first concentrate ship, which is due to arrive for loading in early February.”
Panoramic restarted underground mining operations last month, with focus on recommissioning of underground air, water and electrical services.
The company also worked on the rehabilitation of previous ground support; production drilling to build up run of mine ore stocks; the start of production activities on Savannah’s orebody; and development of the declines across to the Savannah North orebody.
Panoramic started recommissioning of the process plant in mid-December, with first ore in the middle of the month, following completion of refurbishment work at the end of November.
The Savannah project was placed on care and maintenance in May 2016 due to low nickel prices. The company secured a $40 million finance facility last July to support its plans for the restart and scheduled its first shipment for the March quarter of 2019.
Panoramic plans to ramp up Savannah to full production over 15 months with forecasted annual output of 10,800 tonnes of nickel, 6100 tonnes copper and 800 tonnes cobalt contained in concentrate.