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Jul 2014 - Sirius Resources

Sirius Resources NL (SIR) – On the Critical Path to Nova Nickel Production by DQ2016 / MQ2017

  • Having completed the DFS of its Nova Nickel Project, Sirius Resources is now following a critical path route to production. Depending on the timing of Native Title approval and subsequent EPA and Mining Licence approvals, should site construction start in Jan 2015, first production could occur by the end of 2016. 
  • Sirius' Nova Nickel Project's DFS has been based on a life of mine plan of 14.2mt @ 2.0%Ni, 0.8%Cu & 0.07%Co out of a maiden probable ore reserve of 13.1mt @ 2.1%Ni. Hence at a treatment rate of ~1.5mtpa for ~10 years, the expected average annual DFS production is ~26,000tpaNi, 11,500tpaCu & 850tpaCo transported in a ~13.5%Ni con & 29%Cu con, at cash costs: ~C1 A$1.66/lb and ~ "all-in" A$2.32/lb.
  • The critical path route is to establish the underground, with the decline (including the box-cut) from surface to first ore taking ~15 or 16 months (~JQ16), and initial stoping potentially ~6 months' later (~DQ16), ramping up to the full ~1.5mtpa rated treatment rate possibly a further ~12 to 15 months' later (or by the end of 2017).
  • The DFS appears to be a base case scenario : the mine life may be extended beyond 10 years, depending on possible depth or lateral extensions to Nova-Bollinger; and annual production may be higher either from higher realised grades through the plant, or above design throughput rates being achieved.
  • Should a material discovery be made in the Nova area or regionally, there is provision in the plant area for a parallel train / expansion. Should Sirius' new Taipan discovery at Polar Bear (discovery hole ~2.2m @ 5.8%Ni, 3.7%Cu, 0.12%Co, & PGEs of 1.1g/tPt & 1.6g/tPd), become material, then it could be trucked ~170km to Sirius' own concentrator at Nova. The PGE grades are significant - Sirius may have made another new major Ni-Cu (& PGE this time) discovery in Australia.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Tuesday, 01 July 2014