A new chief operating officer has been appointed at ENK to oversee development of the company’s Zambales nickel laterite project at Acoje, on the west coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines.
Dean Stuart will be responsible for the successful completion of the bankable feasibility study (BFS) and subsequent construction of the project as well as the overall management of ENK’s other operations.
He has more than 25 years experience as a mining engineer at several projects in Indonesia and Malaysia including Aurora Gold’s Mt Muro gold and silver project in Central Kalimantan and the Toka Tindung project in North Sulawesi. Dean Stuart has also overseen Avocet Mining’s North Lanut project and the Penjom gold project while establishing the company’s Malaysian technical services group.
ENK’s managing director Robert Gregory says, “Dean brings with him extensive experience in the mining industry within the South East Asian region and Australia. His exposure in the industry includes mining operations and management, occupational health and safety, training, environment and technical services.
“We look forward to having Dean as a new addition to the executive management team focused on growing ENK’s interests worldwide,” he says.
The first nickel was produced at ENK’s pilot plant in October 2011. About 50kg of nickel hydroxide product (NHP) was released from the filter press, with initial assays showing the product contains approximately 49% nickel and 4% iron.
The plant is about 250km north of Manila, and can produce about 200kg of NHP per month, using ion exchange to separate and purify the nickel and cobalt. It has wide market appeal due to significantly low metal impurities.
ENK updated its resource estimate by 36% at the Acoje project last month to 720,000 tonnes of contained nickel after completing an infill drill program. The company hopes to use its low-cost heap leach process to extract nickel laterites at both the Acoje and Zambales chromite deposits. The Acoje BFS is expected to be completed by June 2012.