Western Areas last week announced its Spotted Quoll open pit nickel mine had received the final go ahead from Western Australian Environment Minister Donna Faragher.
The Spotted Quoll mine will be the company’s second high grade nickel mine in the Forrestania Project, after Flying Fox.
Western Areas operations director Dan Lougher told MINING DAILY the company was required to provide ongoing management plans in order to receive Government consent.
“These included dust monitoring and flora and fauna conservation schemes, which are pretty standard in this part of the world,” he said.
“We have a Eucalyptus species found across the whole Forrestania area that is protected at the Federal level.
“The company will be required to reinforce its current management plans to ensure their ongoing protection.”
Construction of a haulage road, a 33 kV mains powerline, a dewatering system and communications infrastructure will now begin, while the pre-strip of the pit will begin in October.
The mining and site development contract has been awarded to Mining and Civil Australia.
First production is scheduled to coincide with completion of the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator in March-April 2010, the company said.
The company also reported it had discovered further nickel sulphide resources 600 metre below the existing resource.
According to Western Areas, further drilling has confirmed the potential for significant extensions to what is already a large deposit.
The 150 metre deep open pit represents only 16% of total contained nickel in the current resource, the company said.