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Fate of Black Swan nickel project to be decided before year-end

Black Swan nickel project. (Image courtesy of Poseidon Nickel).

Poseidon Nickel’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, David Riekie, announced this week that a final investment decision can be expected in the current quarter on the proposed A$30-million restart of the Black Swan nickel mine in Western Australia.

Talking at the Paydirt 2019 Australian Nickel Conference in Perth, Riekie said the company’s near-term value driver lay in the restart of Black Swan’s nickel mining operations.

Black Swan comprises the Silver Swan underground mine, the Black Swan open pit and the Black Swan 2.2Mtpa concentrator with 191,400t of nickel metal in resource

“We are currently undertaking a range of pre-restart safety activities and are eying an intended processing capability at restart of 1.1 Mtpa over 3-4 years,” Riekie said. “Our modelling shows we can be in production at Black Swan within 6-9 months from final investment decision.”

The executive explained that considerations for the restart include pending updates to Black Swan’s July 2018 pre-feasibility study and other contingent factors such as the prevailing nickel price.

Poseidon is currently spending A$2.9 million on time-critical precursor works ahead of the FID including mine escape ladderway rehabilitation, plant accessway and pit dewatering.

According to Riekie, the restart metrics included the ability for Black Swan to deliver around 7,500-tonne p.a. of nickel concentrate, an AISC not exceeding $5.10/lb. -considering a nickel spot price of $8.00- and positive results from the current PFS update work.

Black Swan is located approximately 600 kilometres east of Perth and 50 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie.

The deposit was mined via the open pit method but did not reach completion before being put on care and maintenance in 2009. According to Poseidon, it has a remaining resource of 179kt of nickel-metal grading 0.6% Ni.