Western Areas has reported improvements in mined and milled tonnage at the Forrestania nickel operations in Western Australia.
The Forrestania operation incorporates the Flying Fox mine and the Spotted Quoll mine, both 450 kilometres east of Perth.
Western Areas found a 20 per cent increase in total nickel mined for the March quarter, while the grade of ore mined was up 27 per cent to 3.6 per cent nickel.
Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said the positive results were expected.
“As previously flagged to the market, we re-entered the higher-grade areas of the Flying Fox mine this quarter and saw improved mined nickel grades from Spotted Quoll,” Lougher said.
“This result was set up by the significant development and rehabilitation of existing ore drives achieved during the previous December quarter, which allowed access to and mining of higher-grade ore tonnes in the March quarter.”
Lougher said he expected the positivity to continue following the company’s $100 million capital raising plans.
The plans were announced in March and promised $15 million would be shared between Forrestania, Western Gawler in South Australia and nickel-gold joint ventures with Metal Hawk in Western Australia.
In March, Lougher said if the plan was a success, the benefits would be felt by all stakeholders.
“With greater balance sheet flexibility, the company will be able to take advantage of opportunities within the portfolio and maximise returns to our shareholders,” he said.
The positive March quarter results have come after a slower two quarters previously, where Western Areas dealt with low-grades, seismic activity and a resequencing of operations.