Kambalda nickel restart project, Australia – update

Location map of the Kambalda project

Photo by Mincor Resources

2nd June 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Kambalda nickel restart project.

The Kambalda district of Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Nickel miner Mincor Resources.

Project Description
A definitive feasibility study has proposed the development of a mining operation pro­duc­ing 63 000 t of recovered nickel-in-concentrate with relatively low capital intensity.

The initial five-year operation is based on 2.5-million tonnes of ore grading 2.9% nickel for 71 000 t of contained nickel-in-ore and 5 000 t of copper-in-ore.

The Mincor nickel operations are expected to comprise the Cassini and Northern operations (Long and Durkin North) at the start, with the Miitel mine contributing towards the latter half of the project life.

The flagship Cassini mine, a greenfield discovery by Mincor, is forecast to contribute 56% of the total nickel-in-concentrate production over the initial life of the project.

The mine plan involves underground extraction of the Cassini deposit through a boxcut and decline, mining 1.2-million tonnes of ore at an average nickel grade of 3.3%.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at a 7% discount rate, of $305-million and an internal rate of return of 98%, with a payback of 12 months.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital is estimated at $68-million, mainly associated with mine development and related infrastructure.

Planned Start/End Date
First nickel concentrate is scheduled in the June 2022 quarter, instead of late in the March 2022 quarter as previously guided.

Latest Developments
Kambalda mined 49 955 t of ore during May 2023, with the project on track to achieve its nameplate capacity of 600 000 t/y.

Meanwhile, Mincor has reported that it has approached mining major BHP, with which it has an ore tolling and concentrate purchase agreement (OTCPA) to seek a waiver to the nominated minimum annual quantity (NMAQ) for the contract year, as the company is anticipating that its delivery acceptance levels will be very close to this level if some of the ore mined cannot be placed.

The move to negotiation comes after BHP said it would not agree to amend offtake agreement specifications after Mincor had delivered off-specification product to HP’s Kambalda concentrator.

Mincor has warned that if the company fails to meet the NMAQ, and if a waiver is not provided by BHP, it will result in a default under the syndicated facilities agreement, providing BHP with the option to terminate the OTCPA and claim damages.

The company has stated that while there is no guarantee that the waiver will be granted, Mincor and BHP have a strong and collaborative working relationship, which continues.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Mincor Resources, tel +61 8 9476 7200 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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