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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Australasia: May 1st 2018


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:: Mill Recovery Enhancement Project Commissioned


Western Areas Ltd is pleased to announce that the Mill Recovery Enhancement Project has been commissioned and is producing premium high grade nickel sulphides as planned.   

  • Plant completion achieved late in Q1 CY18, on time and within budget.
  • Commissioning complete with high grade nickel sulphides being produced and normal project ramp up activities underway.
  • MREP product will be blended initially with existing nickel concentrate product for sale.
  • Construction of dedicated filtration and bagging facilities, at a capital cost of A$3m, to commence this quarter (Q2 CY18), with completion scheduled for Q3 CY18.
  • Offtake process for the separate high grade MREP product to commence soon with samples to be dispatched to potential customers.
  • New Morning the next potential project to utilise MREP infrastructure. 

Western Areas Managing Director, Dan Lougher, said that the Company is proud to complete the construction and commissioning of the MREP on time and on budget. “Western Areas now has a new high grade nickel sulphide product set to attract premium pricing above its existing concentrate terms.”  

“Our focus now turns to post commissioning ramp up to nameplate capacity and completing filtration and bagging facility works in order to sell the high grade product under a separate offtake agreement.  

With significant interest in this new product, including parties related to the electric vehicle sector, we have hosted many site visits in recent months and have also received indicative offtake terms.  We will soon commence dispatching samples to a select group of potential customers as part of securing a new offtake agreement.”

“Importantly, we are also advancing test and study work on the New Morning Heap Leach Project utilising our globally patented BioHeap™ process.  The crude nickel sulphate solution produced from the heap leach can be processed at the back end of the MREP plant, which has in-built capacity for around 4,000 tonnes of contained nickel.  We are now working through the required environmental approvals and studies, with a goal for New Morning to be an operational mine in the coming years.”

“In addition, Western Areas has several other potential BioHeap-related opportunities at our Forrestania and Cosmos operations, and we look forward to advancing these as the expected demand for premium nickel sulphide products increases”, said Mr Lougher.




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