Australia-based miner Metals X Limited announced that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended that the WA Environment Minister approve the development of the Wingellina Ni-Co-Fe Project located in the Central Musgrave Ranges in WA.
Metals X’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Cook said the recommendation follows an exhaustive environmental review process.
“This is a significant milestone and an essential step for the funding and development of the project,” Mr Cook pointed out.
“Wingellina is world-class and its future development will provide huge benefits to many stakeholders. We look forward to further advancing the project in the next nickel price up-cycle, and we will continue to explore financing structures and technologies to do so.”
Wingellina is a world-class nickeliferous limonite deposit. The Mineral Resource estimate at Wingellina using 0.5% cut-off is 183.2 million tonnes at 0.98% Ni, 0.08% Co and 47% Fe2O3 and the Ore Reserve estimate is 167.5 million tonnes at 0.98% Ni, 0.08% Co and 47% Fe2O3.
In 2009, Metals X completed a feasibility study (+/-25%) using industry experts that concluded a robust project with a minimum 40 years mine life at an average production rate of 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt per annum at a production cost estimate of US$3.34/lb after cobalt credits. The capital cost estimate for the project was $2.5 billion.
“Since the completion of the feasibility study, Metals X has focused on the delivery of development approvals and infrastructure requirements. A landmark mining and access agreement with the traditional owners and their representative bodies was agreed covering an 18,000 km2 area,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.
“Substantial water exploration has identified and modelled required water resources. Numerous flora and fauna, social and economic studies have been completed and Metals X remains in discussions with state and territory government departments in relation to transport infrastructure options.”