Ardea Resources will turn its attention to metallurgical test work as the company looks to convert an eye-watering 210,371 metres of drilling into data for an upcoming DFS for its Kalgoorlie Nickel Project.
The company believes the incredible scale of the drilling campaign will provide it with an enormous head start when it comes to finalising its definitive feasibility study.
According to the company initial results from its work on the ongoing definitive feasibility study into the project in the Goldfields region of Western Australia show mineralised clay separated from magnesite neutraliser using simple screening is geochemically suited as an atmospheric leach, or “AL” feed.
Subject to current metallurgical research, the findings may provide an opportunity to expand the AL circuit with minimal cost.
Ardea says the AL circuit will require a larger acid plant that generates steam used to generate electricity and process heating for the site.
The system is expected to enable off-grid energy production without fossil fuels in addition to a material decarbonising of the project.
Ardea says stockpiled plant feed scheduled for lower throughput processing will now feed the AL circuit whilst mining occurs and is expected to increase nickel-cobalt production.
The Feasibility Study for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project-Goongarrie Hub has been focusing on material types to allow the mineralisation to be matched to the high pressure acid leach, atmospheric leach and neutraliser circuits, maximising resource utilisation from a well understood and proven hydrometallurgical flow-sheet. Critically, the Ardea flow sheet is based on technology that is being successfully utilised at existing operations.
The company says the project hosts the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world, coming in at 830 million tonnes of ore grading 0.71 per cent nickel and 0.046 per cent cobalt.
In June last year Ardea announced the Goongarrie Hub had a mineral resource estimate of 561 million tonnes at 0.68 per cent nickel and 0.044 per cent cobalt.
Due to increased levels of interest from groups seeking to secure ethical and sustainable nickel-cobalt, the company has appointed Rebecca Moylan as its full-time chief financial officer.
The company says it needed to expand the role after an increase in corporate, financial and legal requirements since the Kalgoorlie nickel project was awarded major project status in March.
Previous part-time chief financial officer Sam Middlemas will assist with the transition and continue in his role as company secretary.
Ardea plans to produce 35,000 tonnes of nickel metal-equivalent per annum from 2026, contributing to the 825,000t of new supply predicted to be needed by 2030.
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