DEVELOPMENT and construction of Sirius Resources’ Nova Nickel Mine in Western Australia is progressing on or ahead of schedule. The establishment of the portal and start of the underground decline to access the Nova ore body remains on track for the last week of April.

At the end of March the box cut was at a depth of 22 metres below surface and had reached fresh rock. Approximately 400,000-500,000 tonnes of clay and rock had been mined with the majority of rock from the box cut being recycled for road construction and for rock fill material around the site.

Underground mining equipment, including twin boom jumbos, loaders and trucks, has arrived on site ready for commencement of the underground decline development. Tailings dam construction started in early March and significant progress had been made by the end of the month with clearing and constructing footings for the embankments. The ROM pad has largely been completed using material excavated from the boxcut.

Plastic lined dams for construction water storage have been completed and these are servicing water requirements across the site. The construction camp has been completed and the 500 person village is being constructed and on track for completion in May.

Site infrastructure corridors, including combined sealed road, pipeline and power line corridors, are at an advanced stage of construction, and the airstrip has been cleared and is being levelled to create the base for a 2km-long sealed all-weather jet capable landing strip.

Sirius’ mobile crusher is on site and a contract to operate it has been awarded to the CV LOMAG joint venture, which involves a number of Ngadju people, the traditional owners of the area.

GR Engineering Services has been appointed preferred tenderer for construction of the process and paste fill plants. This is a fixed sum engineering, procurement and construction style contract and will be managed by Sirius’ personnel.

Contract works are expected to start with detailed engineering in the second quarter with construction mobilization planned to commence in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Exploration is also continuing in the region around Nova with promising gold results from Baloo, Nanook and Monsoon.

Drill hits appear to be defining a significant gold mineralized trend that is otherwise largely undrilled beneath Lake Cowan.

Two reconnaissance diamond holes at the Crux intrusion south of Nova have confirmed the presence of magmatic nickel-copper sulphide mineralization.

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