PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Nickel miner Panoramic Resources has suspended ore processing and concentrate production at its Savannah nickel project, in Western Australia with the miner also revising production guidance.
The miner on Wednesday said that a crack in the filter press pressure plate at the Savannah process plant was discovered several days ago, and while an engineering solution was developed and works had been undertaken over the past several days, a new crack emerged in another area of the pressure plate during the recommissioning of the filter press.
“This is an unfortunate short-term hurdle that our engineering and maintenance team are working hard to find the safest and fastest resolution we can,” said MD and CEO Victor Rajasooriar.
“The long-term restoration works are being well planned with the help of external engineering expertise. This will enable the issue to be put behind us in the coming weeks so that full concentrate production can resume and we are set up for a successful 2024.”
Panoramic told shareholders that the further restoration work would take up to two weeks, and that recommissioning and concentrate production would resume following this work.
In light of the uncertainty of the structural integrity of the pressure plate, Panoramic is also progressing the full replacement of the pressure plate structure. This requires a new unit to be manufactured. Engineering, design and associated works have commenced, and it is anticipated that the timeframe to manufacture and install this item is four to six weeks.
Panoramic said on Wednesday that prior to the issues with the filter press, Savannah was on track to achieve the lower end of its 2023 financial year guidance. As a result of the suspension of concentrate production, the 2023 guidance will not be met. Revised full-year guidance for production is now expected to deliver 5 400 t to 5 800 t of nickel, 3 100 t to 3 400 t copper and 350 t to 400 t cobalt in concentrate at a C1 cost of A$13/lb to A$13.50/lb of nickel.