PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Collerina Cobalt has placed plans for a nickel/cobalt project at its Collerina deposit, in New South Wales, on hold in lieu of a high purity alumina (HPA) project.
The company this week told shareholders that prefeasibility study (PFS) testwork at the Collerina project has identified a major opportunity to fast-track HPA production at a significantly reduced capital and operating cost, compared with a nickel/cobalt operation.
The HPA First process will use Collerina Cobalt’s proprietary licensed solvent extraction and refining technology and a feedstock blend of available industrial products, rather than an acid leach solution generated from the Collerina project.
The HPA First process is simpler than the original process flow sheet, and did not require the development of a mining operation or associated acid plant, leach vessels, filtration plant, neutralization circuits or tailings facilities.
Collerina Cobalt said in a statement that the HPA First route represented the opportunity to fast-track production of HPA as the dominant revenue material, ahead of any mine development.
The PFS for the Collerina project has now been formally modified to deliver an initial report based on the HPA First process, and to accommodate the additional testwork required. The study is now slated for delivery in October this year.
Collerina Cobalt said that the option of the future integration of a nickel/cobalt/scandium process will be retained.
The Collerina project contains the Homeville deposit, which hosts a Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant resource of 16.3-million tonnes, at 0.93% nickel and 0.05% cobalt. The project covers some 200 km2 within the Fifield platinum province.