INDONESIA – Toronto’s WEDA BAY MINERALS has published a new high-grade nickel resource for its Halmahera laterite project. Indicated resources have grown by 42% to 163.4 million tonnes at 1.37% Ni and 0.10% Co. Total resources in all categories now stand at 341 million tonnes, up 58.5% from 215.2 million tonnes. Measured resources remain at 18.3 million tonnes grading 1.2% Ni and 0.18% Co.
Weda Bay is examining three deposits on the island of Halmahera. Initial mining is planned for the Santa Monica deposit which has resources of 72 million tonnes at 1.41% Ni and 0.10% Co (measured and indicated) plus 33 million tonnes at 1.45% Ni and 0.5% Co (inferred). At the planned mining rate of 4 million tonnes/year, this mine would have a life of 20 years. Resources at the Pintu deposit (25 million tonnes at 1.44% Ni and 0.09% Co in the indicated category plus 34 million tonnes grading 1.68% Ni and 0.08% Co in the inferred category) have also increased. A new deposit, Boki Mokot, was drilled this year, and the company estimates it has inferred resources of 18 million tonnes at 1.43% Ni and 0.09% Co.
Weda Bay has a feasibility report based on truck-and-shovel mining methods. Two processing scenarios are under consideration. An operation that would use atmospheric leaching to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt per year might cost US$900 million to develop. Or a pressure acid leach facility, which would average 60,200 tonnes of nickel and 5,000 tonnes of cobalt per year, might cost US$600 million.
Visit www.WedaBay.com for some excellent maps of the project.