Western Areas has updated its probable ore reserve at the Spotted Quoll deposit in Western Australia to just under 3.1 million tonnes @ 4.2% nickel for 131,360 tonnes of contained nickel. This represents a 94% increase in the contained metal compared to figures in the March quarterly report.
Western Areas says the massive increase confirms the site’s potential as a robust long life high grade underground operation.
The revised ore reserve estimate incorporates the deeper mineral resource extensions outlined by the company in January and represents an 88% conversion of the indicated mineral resource of 2.48 million tonnes at 6.0% nickel for 149,500 tonnes of nickel.
The company’s managing director Dan Lougher says, “This reserve upgrade clearly demonstrates the world-class nature of the Spotted Quoll deposit and positions the Spotted Quoll underground mine for a substantial increase in mine life.
“This is the first step in advancing the mine and mill optimization studies with results expected by the end of June. The study aims to identify a potential increase in mine production at Spotted Quoll from a Life of Mine annual average of 10,000 tonnes, up to a potential maximum of 15,000 tonnes of nickel and the timing of the potential increase in mill capacity.”
Spotted Quoll is 6km south of the company’s primary deposit within the Forrestania project known as Flying Fox, which is 400km east of Perth.
Mining of the stage 1 underground mine at Spotted Quoll commenced last year with the decline development currently at 268 metres below surface. Ore production from the underground mine currently totals approximately 41,700 tonnes @ 4.7% nickel for 1950 tonnes contained nickel.