NICO YOUNG NICKEL COBALT PROJECT
Nico Young is a significant body of lateritic nickel and cobalt mineralization located 25 kilometres north west of the township of Young, New South Wales, Australia. There are two distinct bodies of mineralization held under separate but adjacent exploration licenses: “Ardnaree” and “Thuddungra”. Both resources are large shallow flat lying structures amenable to low strip open pit mining.
Nico Young has rapidly turned into a core asset, with cobalt-nickel resources becoming increasing valuable as a result of the forecast acceleration in demand due to electrification of the global economy.
The NiCo Young exploration licenses, held unencumbered 100% by Jervois, contain published JORC Inferred resources of 167.8Mt @ 0.59% Ni and 0.06% Co (using a 0.6% Ni equivalent cut-off); including a higher grade zone of 42.5Mt @ 0.80% Ni and 0.09% Co (using a 1.0% Ni equivalent cut-off).
Within this mineral resource, focusing upon cobalt leads to JORC Inferred resource of 99.1Mt @ 0.58% Ni and 0.08% Co (using a 0.05% Co cut-off) including 33.4Mt @ 0.66% Ni and 0.12% Co (using a 0.08% Co-cut off).
Relative to other Australian cobalt-nickel laterites, Nico Young is well positioned and serviced by existing infrastructure – including rail, road, power and natural gas. The deposit is only 300 kilometers from the Ports of Wollongong and 15 kilometers from existing rail loading facilities which are used seasonally for grain exports.
New South Wales is an established mining region, and the nearby township of Young has 7,000 permanent residents. There is an existing magnesite mine operating on an adjacent property to the Ardnaree deposit. With the exception of the magnesite nearby the licenses are located on agricultural land, largely used for grain and livestock farming.
Jervois has recently completed an infill drilling program during Q1 2018 which focused on upgrading a section of the resource to Indicated category under JORC, and on proving up shallow, higher grade cobalt zones that may be amenable to early mining. Currently open cobalt resource extensions were also be tested, results are expected during Q2.
Jervois currently has a pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) underway assessing the relative economic attractiveness of a heap leach project at Nico Young. Metallurgy to date appears reasonable – with this part of New South Wales also having favorable climatic conditions for the operation of heaps and management of water balances.
The PFS is being coordinated by leading industry consultants including MiningPlus, Snowden, RW Corkery and Rworx. As part of this process the amenability of nickel-cobalt mineralization to heap leach appears promising, with the potential of commercializing the resource at markedly lower capital and technical risk than competing process routes. Jervois management benefits from a close understanding of differential capital and technical risk profiles via their extensive practical experience of construction, commissioning and ramp up of nickel-cobalt hydrometallurgical flowsheets. Jervois team was directly involved in the construction and operation of trial heap leach pads at Murrin Murrin nickel-cobalt operation in Western Australia, owned by Glencore.
The PFS is well underway with environmental baseline activities at site advancing, and initial pit modelling and site layout designs being finalized. The mineral resource will be updated basis the Q1 2018 drilling programme, and samples are being sent to a variety of laboratories both within Australia and offshore for metallurgical testwork, including agglomeration stacking. The PFS will be completed at the end of Q3 2018.