PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Global nickel miner Norilsk Nickel could start production from its Honeymoon Well operation in Western Australia, by as early as 2016/17, after the company’s board approved the project's 2012 to 2017 capital expenditure.
The Honeymoon Well deposits hosts some 1.26-million tons of nickel sulphides and 2.7-million tons of nickel laterite. Ore from the Honeymoon Well deposit would be processed through the existing Cawse hydrometallurgical plant, which was currently on care and maintenance.
Norilsk Nickel said in a statement that front-end engineering and exploration work have already been carried out at the project, and process pilot testing was being implemented.
Since first production was expected in 2017, at a time when the nonferrous metals market was forecasted to recover, Norilsk Nickel said that the project would have a significant impact on the company’s financial results.
The board of Norilsk has also approved the capital spend for the Harjavalta refining facilities, in Finland, allowing for the stabilization of load at the facility from its own high-grade feed for the long term, and ensuring independence from third-party concentrate suppliers.
Norilsk Nickel said that the capital investment formed part of the company’s strategic goals to fulfill the cost potential of the assets in Finland and Australia, by creating a united, vertically integrated system of its mining and processing facilities in these countries.