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Australian Mines creates COO role to advance cobalt-scandium-nickel projects

The agreement is conditional on Australian Mines obtaining finance for the Sconi project by the end of 2018. (Photo by Australian Mines)

Australian Mines (AU:AUZ) announced the appointment of nickel veteran Tim Maclean to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, in a move aimed at advancing its Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland, which is currently undergoing a bankable feasibility study.

Total scandium resource at Sconi is calculated in 12 million tonnes at 162 ppm scandium for 2,989 tonnes of scandium oxide. On the other hand, the combined nickel and cobalt mineral resource is 89 million tonnes at 0.58% nickel + 0.06 % cobalt for 514,000 tonnes of contained nickel metal and 54,000 tonnes of contained cobalt metal.

Mclean is also expected to play a vital role in the preparation of the company’s pre-feasibility study for its Flemington cobalt-scandium-nickel project in New South Wales, which is scheduled to start in October 2017 following reports on the results from a resource extension drilling program and a mineral resource estimate.

In a press release, Australian Mines stated that Maclean has more than 25 years of senior management and hands-on technical and production experience in the mining industry.

The new COO has been in charge of several major projects, such as building from scratch the US$3 billion Mineraçao Onça Puma nickel laterite processing plant in Brazil for Vale (BZ:VALE5); managing Inco’s Indonesian nickel laterite operations, which has an annual average output of 169 million pounds of nickel; and running Rio Tinto’s (LN:RIO) Palabora copper smelter and refinery in South Africa, which produces around 120,000 tonnes of copper metal per year.

Australian Mines also highlighted Mclean’s success in his most recent position running Alcoa‘s (US:AA) Kwinana aluminum refinery, which produces over $1 billion of specialty alumina products per year and has been praised for its safety and environmental record.