Brazil:“The acquisition of the Jaguar Nickel Project last year was a massive coup which has elevated the Company in a very short space of time into the rarefied realms of being a high-grade nickel sulphide explorer and project developer.”Darren GordonManaging DirectorCentaurus Metals Ltd
Centaurus Metals announced that it has taken another important step towards its objective of becoming a high-grade nickel sulphide producer with the commencement of exploration, resource definition and project development programs for 2020 at the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in north-eastern Brazil.
Centaurus’ Managing Director, Mr Darren Gordon, said the next 12 months were shaping up as a defining period in the Company’s history as it embarked on a multi-pronged strategy aimed at delivering a maiden high-grade JORC Mineral Resource at Jaguar, making new massive sulphide nickel discoveries and putting in place the foundations for a rapid pathway to project development and licensing.
“The acquisition of the Jaguar Nickel Project last year was a massive coup which has elevated the Company in a very short space of time into the rarefied realms of being a high-grade nickel sulphide explorer and project developer,” Mr Gordon said.
“In the last quarter of 2019, we were able to quickly and efficiently lay the foundations that will underpin exploration and resource definition drilling as well as project development programs for 2020. We also raised A$10 million that we are now using to fast-track these programs and advance the Project, with the short-term objective of delivering a maiden high-grade JORC Mineral Resource estimate by mid-2020.
“We’re really happy with what we are seeing in the drilling to date and now, following a review of the metallurgical data, we have identified a number of additional value-adding processing opportunities that we believe will help deliver a project that will produce a high-quality nickel product at much higher recoveries than seen in the historical testwork.
“The process testwork programs undertaken historically followed similar testing parameters to the process testwork completed for a number of the copper-gold mines in the Carajás, with these parameters not considered optimal for nickel flotation.
“We believe that, with a lift in the average feed grade and changes in grind sizes and reagent selection used in the process flowsheet, we can significantly improve the nickel recoveries seen in the limited historical metallurgical work. Our new metallurgical testwork programs are already underway and we expect to have the first results in March.
“Environmentally, we already have a considerable amount of baseline data at hand for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA/RIMA) given the historical work completed by Vale, and this has given us a great head start on the environmental licensing process. While further wet and dry season data is still to be collected concurrently with the ongoing drilling work, the collection of wet season data is already underway. This means we can target completion and lodgement of the EIA/RIMA by the end of 2020.
“Jaguar hosts a quality bulk tonnage foreign resource of 40.4Mt at 0.78% Ni1 for a total of 315,000 tonnes of nickel – a globally significant nickel inventory by any measure – but one where the high-grade zones have never previously been the focus of the exploration work. We see the development of Jaguar shaping up as a combination of multiple open pit and underground operations delivering a high-grade feed to a central conventional nickel flotation plant, similar to the Kambalda Nickel Operations in Western Australia.
“We look forward to demonstrating to our shareholders a steady stream of drill assays, resource estimates, process testwork results and project licensing updates during the course of 2020.”