BRITISH COLUMBIA – Hard Creek Nickel of Vancouver has updated the preliminary economic assessment for its Turnagain nickel project, dropping the inclusion of a nickel refinery. Instead, the project will produce nickel bearing concentrates. The revised cost for a 43,200-t/d operation is US$1.3 billion, less than half the US$2.9 billion estimate for the original project including a refinery.
The Turnagain mine would production 52.72 million lb of nickel and 2.82 million lb of cobalt annually in concentrates for the first five years of operation. A US$555-million expansion would increase mill throughput to 85,000 t/d for an annual production rate of 97.87 million lb of nickel and 5.36 million lb of cobalt in each of the following 16 years.
Hard Creek estimates the resources for an open pit as follows: 206 million tonnes at 0.231% Ni and 0.014% Co measured; 356 million tonnes at 0.226% Ni and 0.013% Co indicated; and 201 million tonnes at 0.235% Ni and 0.013% Co inferred.
Details of the PEA are posted at www.HardCreek.com in the press release dated Oct. 20, 2011.