Promising nickel-cobalt junior Jervois Mining (ASX: JVR) is targeting the release of a Mineral Resource Estimate next month for its 100% owned Nico-Young asset in New South Wales, as it moves through the final stages of the project’s pre-feasibility study (PFS).
The junior has appointed Snowden Mining Industry Consultants to prepare a geological interpretation of an updated drill hole database following assay results received from a drilling program earlier this year at the project’s EL5527 (Ardnaree) exploration license.
The neighbouring EL5571 (Thuddungra) exploration license is also being included in the PFS. Both licenses host large, shallow, flat-lying structures amenable to low-strip, open-pit mining.
Snowden will update Jervois’ geological model and provide a MRE report in July, after which the consultant will commence optimisation of preliminary mine plans determined in early 2018, with a view to finalising the PFS in September.
Meanwhile, the project’s metallurgical testwork being conducted by Nagrom Brisbane Laboratories remains on track, with encouraging results received to date for both nickel and cobalt solubility and acid consumption.
Final metallurgical results are expected in July.
Also in July, Underdale Drillers will commence a drill program at Thuddungra, comprising 90 holes (4400 metres) of aircore and diamond work. Approximately 10 holes will be drilled at Ardnaree.
Civil and geotechnical plans for the project’s heap leach facility design are being managed by Land & Marine Geological Services, and will incorporate seven leach pads or cells, drainage systems, a residue storage facility and an evaporation pond.
All envisaged infrastructure for the initial development scope of the PFS will reside across Ardnaree and Thuddungra.
RW Corkery & Co is co-ordinating environmental workstreams with soil, heritage, biodiversity, noise and air quality workstreams all in progress, while water consultant AQ2 has completed an initial assessment on water availability and identified potential alternatives.
Lycopodium Minerals has been appointed engineering lead for design of the process plant and site, focusing on project water balances, mechanical equipment (in particular optimising the heap leach stacker, agglomerator and conveying systems purchased from Fox Resources in early 2018), acid plant selection and site layout designs including process plant and associated plant and surface infrastructure.
Overall process engineering remains on target for completion in August.
Following the release of the PFS, Jervois will move onto a Definitive Feasibility Study and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, currently scheduled for submission in early 2019.
The company anticipates environmental approvals to be received by end 2019, and construction at Nico-Young to commence in 2020.