PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Pacific Nickel has appointed Haldane Morris as COO as the company moves to bring its Kolosori nickel project, in the Solomon Islands, into production as soon as possible.
Morris has over 30 years' experience in the resources sector and was most recently the mining operations manager for contractor Thiess Contractors Indonesia.
Pacific Nickel on Monday said that the company was now advancing key contracts to develop and operate Kolosori with a view to starting operations as soon as possible, after diversified major Glencore confirmed the receipt of internal management approvals to execute a loan facility agreement of up to $22-million over the Kolosori project.
“Pacific Nickel Mines is pleased to confirm that the Kolosori nickel project has advanced further into the execution stage with critical path construction work now underway,” said CEO Geoff Hiller.
“A review of the development strategy has identified ore blocks which can potentially be mined earlier than was assumed in the definitive feasibility study (DFS). These ore blocks lie adjacent to the proposed haul road and early mining of these ore blocks is expected to enhance the project’s economics.”
“The company has recently completed an infill drilling programme within these early ore blocks to assist with mine planning. This will be followed by grade control drilling to confirm the outline of the ore blocks. The company believes that the project holds relatively low technical risk and that capital payback can be achieved in under 12 months.”
Pacific Nickel has previously said it was aiming to start direct shipping ore production at Kolosori late in the third quarter of this year, subject to financing and contractor mobilisation.
Regarding Morris’s appointment, Hiller said that his extensive experience in contracting and opencut operations in Indonesia was a particularly good fit for the mining operations contemplated at Kolosori.
“As COO Morris will oversee development of the Kolosori nickel project, operational readiness and commissioning of operations with the aim of establishing and maintaining the cash flow and profitability of the Kolosori project in line with the company’s DFS.
“Morris will also be responsible for ensuring that a mining lease for the Jejevo nickel project is granted as soon as practicable. It is also contemplated that in due course Hal will apply the same methodologies to the development of the company’s Jejevo nickel project, which is also located on Isabel Island, Solomon Islands.
“The board and I welcome Hal to Pacific Nickel and look forward to working closely with him as development of the Kolosori nickel project progresses and pre-development work advances in respect of the Jejevo project.”