PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Panoramic Resources has flagged a potential restart of its Savannah nickel project, in Western Australia, in the first half of 2021.
Panoramic in April this year temporarily suspended operations at the Savannah project, amid the Covid-19 outbreak, as the pandemic adversely impacted transportation and the availability of personnel and equipment and supplies to the site.
An updated ore reserve and mine plan on Friday confirmed that the project remained an attractive, near-term nickel sulphide restart opportunity, and has increased the mine life to 13 years on the basis that the majority of the ore for the operation would be sourced from the Savannah North orebody.
The new mine plan envisioned an average annual production of 8 810 t/y nickel, 4 579 t/y copper and 659 t/y cobalt in concentrate over the first 12 years of operation, with average all-in costs estimated at A$7.54/lb payable nickel, net byproduct credits, during this time.
The mine plan was based on an updated ore reserve of 8.3-million tonnes, at 1.23$ nickel, 0.50% copper and 0.08% cobalt, for 102 000 t of contained nickel, 48 500 t of copper and 7 000 t of contained cobalt.
“The updated mine plan and ore reserve for Savannah underpin the potential future restart of the operation and confirm the significant value of the asset,” said Panoramic MD and CEO Victor Rajasooriar.
“This updated technical study includes the results of all infill drilling completed at Savannah and applies the learnings gained from our recent operating experience. In doing so, we have further de-risked the potential project restart.”
The base case includes pre-tax cash flow estimates of AR$468-million and a net present value of A$262-million, while total life of mine site costs have been estimated at A$1.6-billion, and gross revenues at A$2.2-billion.
Rajasooriar said that the mine plan provided an attractive base case for Savannah, with significant capacity to further enhance the mining inventory by converting the inferred resource at Savannah North and the orebody remaining open at depth and along strike.
“We now have a firm foundation to recommence underground pre-production development next month, to complete ventilation work for Savannah North and complete areas of capital development to lay further groundwork for a potential restart of operations.