THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Western Areas has updated the Mineral Resource at Spotted Quoll.
The update includes the first resource estimate for the Stage 2 area at the project.
The previous mineral resource estimate for Spotted Quoll was released in January 2009.
It comprised a total of 2,021,600 tonnes at an average grade of 6.2 per cent nickel for 125,460 tonnes contained nickel.
The revised mineral resource estimate for Spotted Quoll comprises a total of 3,054,900 tonnes at an average grade of 5.9 per cent nickel containing 179,000 tonnes nickel; 85 per cent is in the Indicated Mineral Resource category.
Mineral Resource Statement 31 December 2011 Spotted Quoll Deposit
above lower cut-off of zero per cent nickel. Source: Company
The upgrade represents an increase of 78 per cent in reported contained nickel metal compared to the figures the company reported in its September 2011 Quarterly Report.
Surface diamond drilling carried out by the company during the past 24 months has defined a Mineral Resource for the Stage 2 target area, located between 630 metres and 1050 metres below surface.
This constitutes an Indicated Mineral Resource of 923,500 tonnes at 5.6 per cent nickel for 51,960 tonnes contained nickel, and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 244,900 tonnes at 5.1 per cent nickel for 12,570 tonnes contained nickel.
This has exceeded the company’s initial target for this area of 40,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes contained nickel.
“This resource upgrade clearly demonstrates the world class nature of the Spotted Quoll deposit and positions the recently commenced Spotted Quoll underground mine for a substantial increase in mine life,” Western Area operations director Dan Lougher said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Further work will now be conducted to convert this resource into a Probable Reserve.
“This will include optimisation of the production schedule with the aim of increasing the annual nickel output from the mine.
“This could also potentially lead to a mill upgrade.”