Western Areas has produced first ore at its Odysseus project within the Cosmos nickel operation in Western Australia, marking a significant milestone for the miner’s new long-life mine.
The ore will be stockpiled as Western Areas completes construction of its concentrator complex, due to produce first concentrate in the December quarter of 2022.
The miner has also made significant progress on its shaft raise bore, which commenced 630 metres of back-reaming in January 2021 and has now broken through to surface.
First production sets up Western Areas nicely as the company continues to work its way into the nickel market.
“It is an exciting milestone to reach first ore and we now look forward to continuing ore production and construction activities, while also advancing offtake tenders for new nickel sulphide supply into the class-one nickel market,” Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said.
“The raise bore breakthrough is also a key achievement that further de-risks project delivery and allows completion of the shaft sub-brace concrete works, as well as remaining surface civil works associated with the shaft.
“Importantly, the work was completed without a safety incident, for which credit must be given to the site management team and RUC, the raise bore contractor.”
In March, Western Areas announced its plans to raise $100 million for development of the Odysseus nickel mine, along with further growth at fellow Western Australia-based projects, Forrestania and Cosmos.
A total of $85 million was allocated to advance Odysseus towards its target of first production in late 2022, with the remaining $15 million raised to strengthen the company’s exploration portfolio including Forrestania, Western Gawler in South Australia and in nickel-gold joint venture projects with Metal Hawk in Western Australia.