Mincor Resources announced in late May that it has halted capital development at its Miitel and Mariners nickel mines in the Kambalda district of Western Australia as part of a strategy to maximize operating margins and focus on development of new growth projects. The company is proceeding with stoping-only operations at both mines.
Meanwhile, Mincor continues to develop its Burnett, Voyce, Durkin, and Cassini growth projects in the Kambalda district. Detailed resource modeling is currently underway on the Burnett, Voyce, and Durkin deposits, while Cassini is undergoing conceptual scoping studies to determine drilling priorities for the recommencement of diamond drilling. In addition, planning for an aircore drilling program over the un-explored northern half of the Cassini magnetic anomaly is well-advanced.
Mincor developed its new strategy in response to ongoing nickel price weakness. The company will review Miitel and Mariners operations through the second half of 2015 in light of nickel price trends, with a view to either recommencing capital development and ramping up production or reducing production after November and focusing primarily on development of its growth projects.
The revised mining plan is designed to optimize cash flows during completion of initial studies on the development projects, while leaving substantial undeveloped ore reserves available for future mining at both Miitel and Mariners. A key element of the plan is that it is reversible at any time, should the nickel price improve.
Mincor expected to produce approximately 8,500 mt of nickel in ore during its fiscal year ending June 30 and 120,000 mt of ore grading 2.8% nickel between June and November 2015.
Mincor Managing Director David Moore commented, “Based on our strong ore reserve position and our new discoveries, the future outlook for Mincor remains compelling. Consensus forecasts for the nickel price are very strong, and the changes announced today will give us a solid foundation on which to build our next decade of profitable nickel mining in Kambalda.”