As part of its accelerated development strategy, Jervois Mining (ASX: JRV) has purchased heap leach equipment for use at its flagship Nico Young cobalt-nickel project in New South Wales.
A pre-feasibility study is underway at Nico Young and Jervois anticipates it will be completed by the end of the September quarter.
In readiness of development at Nico Young, Jervois reviewed Fox Resources’ (ASX: FSX) 400-tonne per hour heap leach agglomerator, stacker and conveying equipment during a site visit to the Mt Cuthbert copper project in Queensland.
Jervois noted minimal alterations were required to adapt the infrastructure to suit processing at Nico Young and purchased the equipment from Fox for A$500,000.
The modular equipment will be transported by road from the Mt Cuthbert copper project in Queensland.
Purchasing the equipment second hand from Fox has saved Jervois “significant capital expenditure”, with similar new equipment possessing a A$10 million price tag.
Jervois stated the equipment was in “excellent condition” and was an appropriate size for its planned operations.
According to Jervois, purchasing the equipment from Fox has the added benefit of reducing the development time-line for Nico Young, with lead times for similar equipment taking approximately two years.
Clinching essential infrastructure for reduced expense is part of Jervois’ strategy to develop a “stand out” project with “low capital and technical risk” and a fast-tracked timeline to production.
Jervois’ management team has “extensive experience” with nickel and cobalt processing plants from construction, commissioning, ramp up and stabilisation of operations.
The company is pursuing heap leach processing because it has a lower capital cost and is less energy intensive than high pressure leach processing.
Nico Young project
Jervois’ wholly-owns the Nico Young project which has an inferred resource of 167.8 million tonnes grading 0.59% nickel and 0.06% cobalt using a 0.6% nickel equivalent cut off.
With a 0.08% cobalt cut off, the resource includes 33.4mt grading 0.66% nickel and 0.12% cobalt.
Jervois is also investigating the low levels of scandium that have been identified across the project.
The project is close to gas, rail, and major roads, as well as the nearby town Young.
A 2,000m infill drilling program to upgrade the resource was undertaken during the March quarter with results pending.