Solomon Island’s Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification issued a public notice regarding the Isabel Nickel Project.
The Ministry said it has committed to run an inclusive, transparent process that is strictly compliant with all requirements under the Mine and Minerals Act (Cap 42) and the Environment Act (1998) and other relevant legislation to avoid further legal implication and delay in the development of the project.
Axiom Chief Executive Officer Ryan Mount welcomed the public notice from the Solomon Island Government stating its position on the project.
“We are pleased that the Ministry has committed to an inclusive and transparent process for applications to sustainably develop the Isabel nickel deposits,” Mr Mount said.
“Axiom and our landowner partners’ investment in the Isabel Nickel Project goes beyond 18 months of extensive exploration and mine planning to defined the first five years of production – we upskilled our local workforce and worked with local communities to develop small businesses and community infrastructure.”
He said he was confident that Axiom’s approach to sustainable mine development, the company’s ties with the customary landowners and the robust technical work undertaken to date, would give Axiom a competitive advantage during new application process.
“Axiom has submitted its application for a Prospecting License with the Ministry, and if required, will submit further material for the process when it is announced,” he concluded.
The Isabel Nickel Project is considered to be one of the largest nickel laterite deposits in the Pacific. On 30 September 2015, Axiom delivered the project’s Maiden JORC Mineral Resource estimate from its Kolosori tenement, which revealed a total Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.8 million tonnes (Mt) @ 1.3% nickel and 0.08% cobalt, including saprolite total Mineral Resource of 2.0 Mt @ 1.7% Ni, including 0.9 Mt @ 1.8% Ni of Measured Mineral Resource.
This estimate was upgraded in December 2015, with the high grade saprolite total Mineral Resource tonnage doubled to 3.9 million dry tonnes (Mt) @ 1.7% Ni and limonite total Mineral Resource tonnage increased to 8.4 Mt @ 1.0% Ni and 0.11% Co.