PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Trial mining has started at the Sconi nickel/cobalt/copper project, in Queensland, with 20 t of bulk sample materially successfully mined.
The bulk ore sample is expected to produce about 160 kg of nickel sulphate, 20 kg of cobalt sulphate and 5 kg of high-purity scandium oxide.
The trial mining operations reinforced the project’s position as the most advanced project of its type currently under evaluation in Australia, ASX-listed Australian Mines said on Thursday. The Sconi project has all the appropriate mining and environmental approvals in place to allow a full-scale mining operation with a project life of more than 20 years.
“Ore from Sconi has previously been delivered to the demonstration plant site in Welshpool for piloting purposes, while key components of the demonstration-size plant continue to be delivered and installed ahead of a large-scale run in the December quarter,” said Australian Mines MD Benjamin Bell.
He noted that the entire output from the initial run has already been allocated to potential international offtake partners to progress ongoing negotiations with Australian Mines, with the company planning on expanding the trial mining programme to satisfy additional requests for samples from battery and technology metal manufacturers.
The company was also working on a bankable feasibility study for Sconi, which would be completed at the end of April, with a final investment decision on the full-scale mine and processing operation to follow shortly after.