Mincor honours nickel district pioneer Roy Woodall in restart at new Cassini mine in Kambalda

Mincor has paid tribute to the late geologist who discovered nickel at Kambalda in 1966, naming a decline at its new Cassini underground mine in his honour (reports The West Australian).
1st April 2021
Resources Rising Stars

Mincor has paid tribute to the late geologist who discovered nickel at Kambalda in 1966, naming a decline at its new Cassini underground mine in his honour (reports The West Australian).

The Woodall Decline recognises the illustrious career of a doyen of Australian geology in Roy Woodall, who died in Adelaide in February, aged 90.

Mincor noted the pioneering work of the former WMC employee today as the company celebrated the revival of nickel mining at Kambalda after a five-year hiatus.

Chairman Brett Lambert read a statement prepared by Dr Woodall’s son, Tim Woodall, on behalf of the family.

Renowned as the father of Kambalda, Dr Woodall would go on to discover uranium at Yeelirrie in 1971, the Olympic Dam copper-gold-uranium deposit in 1975 and the East Spar oil-condensate field in 1993 over a stellar 42-year career with WMC.

The Woodall Decline will provide access to ore at Cassini, which is the first greenfields nickel deposit to be discovered at Kambalda in nearly three decades after being identified by Mincor geologists in 2015.

Mincor managing director David Southam said the official opening of Cassini heralded the start of a new chapter for the world-renowned Kambalda nickel district.

He said the naming of the Woodall Decline was a wonderful symbolic connection between Kambalda’s rich past and its exciting future.

Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operations were shuttered in 2016 after a sustained downturn in the price of the steel-making commodity.

The metal’s revival is in part linked to its increasing use in lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles.

Along with Cassini, Mincor has restarted mining at the historic Long and North Durkin mines about 40km to the north.

Collectively, the three mines host reserves of about 71,100t of contained nickel.

Mincor is on track to deliver its first nickel ore to offtake partner BHP Nickel West by the first quarter of next year.

The 16,000tpa operation is expected to create more than 200 long-term direct jobs over an initial five-year minelife.

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said for Mincor to open the mine only a few years after the nickel market downturn and during a pandemic was “close to a miracle”.

“I congratulate the Mincor team for the courage and tenacity they have demonstrated in backing its exploration geologists and developing this significant new mine,” he said.

“Exploration is the lifeblood of Western Australia's resources sector and if it leads to a new mine, then new jobs are created.”

 

Pic: Tony McDonough

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