A copper-focused international company based in South Australia has acquired a larger stake in the largest undeveloped copper nickel project in Australia.
OZ Minerals announced in a statement this week that it has completed the earn in of 51% of the West Musgrave project following a $22mn investment.
The project is a Joint Venture with Cassini Resources and together the two companies are currently conducting a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of the project to focus on further drilling and improvement of the metallurgical recoveries.
OZ Minerals’ CEO, Andrew Cole, said early study results had been encouraging in a number of areas including resource extension drilling and metallurgy, with good progress made in heritage clearances and community engagement.
“Our confidence in the project’s potential has increased and supports reaching the 51 per cent earn-in level earlier than originally anticipated.
“Recent early metallurgical test work shows significant improvements over the results achieved during the Further Scoping Study with a material improvement in copper and nickel recoveries. On results to date, we have also seen an increase in copper concentrate grade while nickel concentrate grade remains in line with the Further Scoping Study.
“These encouraging, improvements together with results from our regional exploration drill program that intersected massive sulphides at Yappsu (located approximately six kilometres from the Nebo-Babel deposits which are the primary focus of the PFS), further support our view that West Musgrave has the potential to be an exciting new mineral province with near mine and district opportunities.
located in the Musgrave Province of Western Australia and including the Nebo-Babel nickel-copper and Succoth copper deposits, the West Musgrave Project will be a scaleable, low cost, long life, open pit mining operation.
The PFS for the project commenced in November 2017 and is scheduled for completion in Q2 2019. OZ Minerals can earn 70 per cent of the West Musgrave project by investing an additional $14 million towards project studies and regional exploration.