UK-based nickel developer European Nickel (ENK) has completed an infill drilling program to update the nickel limonite and saprolite resource at the Acoje project on Luzon’s west coast in the Philippines.

The company says the updated indicated resource is 40.9 million tonnes @ 1.08% nickel and 0.05% cobalt and the inferred resource estimate is 29 million tonnes @ 0.96% nickel and 0.06% cobalt, for a total of more than 720,000 tonnes of contained nickel.

This is a 36% increase on the November 2008 resource estimate and results from completion of the 117-hole drill program. The diamond drill holes, along with 1500 bulk density determinations and a complete re-domaining of the laterite profile were incorporated into the geological modeling, leading to a massive increase in the geo-metallurgical knowledge of the deposit. The new resource estimate is the result of detailed 3D block modeling which will also be used to produce a mine design and schedule.

The company has also completed a drill program at its Zambales chromite mining (ZCMC) project which is also on Luzon’s west coast, about 250km north of the capital Manila.

In November last year, ENK started a nickel laterite limonite and saprolite infill drill program which was completed in early March. The 234 diamond drill holes covered 2174 metres of the tenement. Results so far have been encouraging, with a JORC-compliant resource estimate expected to be announced by September this year.