Mincor buoyant on new Kambalda nickel find

The nickel hopeful spearheading the revival of Kambalda’s mothballed nickel mines is hailing a new discovery near its cornerstone deposit (reports The West Australian).
11th September 2020
Resources Rising Stars

The nickel hopeful spearheading the revival of Kambalda’s mothballed nickel mines is hailing a new discovery near its cornerstone deposit (reports The West Australian).

Andrew Forrest and IGO-backed Mincor Resources scrambled to reveal to the market early yesterday it had hit massive and matrix nickel sulphide mineralisation at its Cassini North prospect.

That came after the emerging producer received assays and geophysical data from the discovery hole late on Tuesday.

Mincor believes the 2.5m intersection grading at 6.6 per cent nickel from a vertical depth of 260m is a “significant breakthrough”.

But that came with a word of caution from upbeat Mincor boss David Southam, who yesterday said it was “too early to look too far ahead”.

“It’s like you’re starting off an 18-hole game of golf and you’ve gone birdie, eagle,” he said.

“So you’ve still got the round to complete, but it’s a very good start to your round and we’re very encouraged.”

Mincor Resources managing director David Southam. Credit: Kelsey Reid/Kalgoorlie Miner

The intersection at the prospect is 700m north of Mincor’s flagship deposit at Cassini Main.

Cassini Main, which has had four resource upgrades in two years, boasts a reserve of 1.2 million tonnes at 3.3 per cent for 40,100 tonnes of nickel.

But recent drilling points to upside potential at the deposit with another 30,000 tonnes of nickel in reserves at brownfields deposits elsewhere at the project.

Mr Southam, pictured, said the discovery had echoes of its greenfields discovery at Cassini Main.

“We’ve held this theory internally that we believe there’s the potential for repeats in this area which is very consistent with the history of Kambalda,” he said.

“It’s similar to how Cassini Main evolved and it’s only 700m adjacent and almost the same depth as where the decline starts underground.

“If we can tease out a resource over Cassini North it’s got access to infrastructure immediately because of what we’re planning to do at Cassini Main, so that’s what’s exciting.”

Mincor mothballed its Kambalda operations in 2016 after a sustained downturn in the nickel price.

An uptick in the nickel price, a new offtake agreement with BHP Nickel West, and a more streamlined mining contract has seen Mincor manoeuvre itself into a better position.

A $60m capital raising at the end of June means Mincor’s cash reserves cover the peak project funding needed to restart operations. Mincor is also in talks to secure debt funding of about $53m to boost cash reserves to $161m.

In the meantime, early works are forging ahead, with work starting on developing a workshop, offices and the water and electrical infrastructure needed at Cassini.

A final investment decision that would create more than 200 jobs is expected this month.

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