PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major BHP’s Nickel West division has processed the first ore from ASX-listed Mincor Resources’ Kambalda operations through its Kambalda nickel concentrator, in Western Australia.
The milestone would see Mincor deliver on its previous target of achieving first nickel concentrate production in the June quarter of this year, with first cash flow from the concentrates expected in June.
BHP Nickel West asset president Jessica Ferrell said that the company was looking forward to continuing the offtake agreement with Mincor.
“BHP is committed to the Goldfields region through investment, jobs and providing benefits to the local community. Through the restart of the Kambalda concentrator, we are providing an additional 40 jobs in the Kambalda region, including new-to-industry and trainee opportunities.
“As the world transitions to a decarbonised future, BHP’s future-facing portfolio, including our nickel assets, will be essential to meet growing demand in the global battery and electric vehicle market.”
Mincor MD David Southam told shareholders on Monday that the successful recommissioning of the Kambalda nickel concentrator, which was completed on time, was a significant milestone for both companies, and represented a significant boost for the Kambalda region.
“Once again, Kambalda is proudly delivering high grade nickel production for global markets, and it is doing so on the cusp of an exciting new era of growth for the nickel industry driven by the new energy economy.
“As we announced last week, Mincor’s ore deliveries to the end of May 2022 will be converted into an imputed nickel-in-concentrate, using a grade recovery curve, thereby meeting our commitment to shareholders of delivering first production in the June 2022 quarter.”
Mincor in 2020 approved the A$68-million development of the Kambalda project, with the project forecast to produce 71 000 t of nickel and 5 000 t of copper over a five-year mine life.
The Kambalda operations consist of the Cassini and Northern operations, at the start, with the Miitel mine contributing at the back half of the project life. The flagship Cassini mine will contribute 56% of the total nickel-in-concentrate production over the initial life of the project.