Canadian Mining Journal


NICKEL: Fate of Black Swan nickel project to be decided before year-end

AUSTRALIA – Poseidon Nickel’s interim CEO, David Riekie, announced this week that a final investment decision can be expected in the current quarter on the proposed A$30-million restart of the Black Swan nickel mine in Western Australia.

Talking at the Paydirt 2019 Australian Nickel Conference in Perth, Riekie said the company’s near term value driver lay in the restart of Black Swan’s nickel mining operations.

“We are currently undertaking a range of pre-restart safety activities and are eying an intended processing capability at restart of 1.1 million tonnes per annum over three to four years,” Riekie said. “Our modeling shows we can be in production at Black Swan within six to nine months from final investment decision.”

The executive explained that considerations for the restart include pending updates to Black Swan’s July 2018 pre-feasibility study and other contingent factors such as the prevailing nickel price.

Poseidon is currently spending A$2.9 million on time-critical precursor works ahead of the final decision including mine escape ladderway rehabilitation, plant accessway and pit dewatering.

According to Riekie, the restart metrics included the ability for Black Swan to deliver around 7,500-t/y of nickel concentrate, an AISC not exceeding $5.10/lb. – considering a nickel spot price of $8.00 – and positive results from the current PFS update work.

Black Swan is located approximately 600 km east of Perth and 50 km northeast of Kalgoorlie.

The deposit was mined via the open pit but did not reach completion before being put on care and maintenance in 2009. According to Poseidon, it has a remaining resource of 179,000 tonnes grading 0.6% Ni.

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