PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Australian Mines has started the hunt for additional nickel and cobalt resource at its Sconi nickel/cobalt/scandium project, in Queensland.
The current plan for the $974-million Sconi project includes a two-million-tonne-a-year ore processing plant, delivering a mixed nickel/cobalt hydroxide precipitate (MHP), starting from 2024.
Australian Mines has an offtake agreement in place with battery producer LG Energy Solutions, which would see LNG purchase 71 000 t of nickel and 7 000 t of cobalt in the form of MHP over an initial six-year term, with the potential to extend the offtake agreement for another five years, by mutual agreement.
The company told shareholders on Friday that the additional exploration programme is intended to complement the existing resource at the Sconi project, which is currently estimated at 32.63-million tonnes, at 0.84% nickel equivalent, 0.69% nickel and 0.05% cobalt.
The exploration programme will focus on 14 targets, which will be investigated for their potential nickel and cobalt mineralisation, and the results of the programme will be used to plan the next phase of exploration at the Sconi project, which is intended to include a reconnaissance drilling programme of priority targets. Further infill and extensional drilling phases may then follow, which would be designed to increase confidence in the grade and volume.