PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The board of ASX-listed nickel miner Western Areas has approved a A$32-million early works programme at the Odysseus project, in Western Australia.
The 18-month early works programme is focused on evaporation ponds, mine camp readiness, dewatering and decline rehabilitation.
Western Areas MD Dan Lougher told shareholders that the company was proud that the counter cyclical decision to pursue Cosmos in late 2015, was now rapidly crystallising into a significant organic growth project, with Odysseus to be the catalyst for its second production hub in Western Australia.
“We are very excited by both the Odysseus project and the regional exploration potential that the greater Cosmos nickel complex demonstrates in both base and precious metals. We have taken this decision to commence early works, prior to the release of the definitive feasibility study, due to our confidence in the overall project and just as importantly, our confidence in the nickel sulphide market.”
The Odysseus prefeasibility study estimated that the project could deliver an average of 12 000 t/y of nickel in concentrate over an initial mine life of seven years, and would require a capital expenditure of between A$190-million and A$210-million.
“The demand for class-one nickel sulphides in the battery and electric vehicle market is forecast to grow substantially over the coming years. We believe that Odysseus is one of a very few select nickel sulphide projects that will be coming into production in a timeframe that will enable it to deliver into that growing demand profile, which we are seeing validated by the strong inbound interest from potential offtake parties and project investors,” said Lougher.