Western Areas plans to raise $100 million for development of the Odysseus nickel mine, as well as for further growth at fellow Western Australia-based projects, Forrestania and Cosmos.
The company will allocate $85 million to advance Odysseus’ progress towards first production in 2023.
The remaining $15 million will be 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.
Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said the capital raising would help the company remain on schedule across its developments.
“The placement supports the development of the Odysseus underground mine which is progressing well with excellent advance rates being achieved, while also providing funding for Western Areas’ exploration portfolio where we hope to make significant progress in 2021,” Lougher said.
“With greater balance sheet flexibility, the company will be able to take advantage of opportunities within the portfolio and maximise returns to our shareholders.”
Once fully operational, the Odysseus nickel project will use a shaft hoisting system with a throughput of 900,000 tonnes per annum to produce a potential 2.1 million tonnes.
The Odysseus project is part of Western Areas’ Cosmos nickel operation, 30 kilometres north of Leinster, Western Australia, and is just the latest in a list of successful operations for the company.
The Cosmos operation produced over 127,000 tonnes of nickel at an average grade of 4.8 per cent between 2000 and 2012.
Following Western Areas’ half year results last February, Lougher said his expectations for the Odysseus project remained very positive in the long-term.
“It is exciting to own the long-life Odysseus project, providing Western Areas a clear nickel mining plan into the 2030’s and beyond,” Lougher said.