New Nickel Mine
Posted: 23/11/2015 9:55:12 AM
Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Mining
Queensland company Axiom Mining is pressing ahead with plans to start production at a massive new nickel mine in Solomon Islands. The Managing Director of Axiom Mining Ryan Mount was quoted as saying “We have possession of the site and the first shipment of ore is due to leave next month,”
Axiom is continuing to drill at the site to define the resource further, with six rigs there this week and a workforce of about 100 despite the fact that company has already proved up sufficient reserves for the first few years’ production
Axiom plans to mine two million tonnes of nickel-bearing ore a year, which it will ship directly.
The mineralisation — which has been estimated at 160 million tonnes — is mainly located in three proximate zones, is shallow and runs to the shoreline, and includes some cobalt and iron. There is also a deposit on a nearby small island, San Jorge.
The MD Mr Mount said “There is no overburden, with the resource extending no deeper than 20m — although that depth has only recently been proven. Earlier work on the site, dating back to the 1950s and including some of the world’s biggest nickel miners, involved drilling more shallowly”. He added “There are no inhabitants on the mineralised land — in part reflecting the impact of that geology, with the high-iron-level terrain comprising only low-level scrub, with no producing trees or game for hunting”
“Usually the big challenges for mining in the Pacific region are social,” he said. “But here there is no impact downstream either, since there is no downstream.”
“We are not doing any processing on site, we stock no toxic chemicals and we shall build no tailings dams.”
“We are about de-risking at every level”. This included investors, with the cost of going into production repaid by a single year’s output, he said.
The topsoil overmatter would be retained, he said, and used for revegetation when the resource ran out.