Giga Metals (TSXV: GIGA) has begun a 2021 work program at the Turnagain nickel-cobalt project, located in north-central British Columbia. Archaeological and wildlife surveys are underway and resource drilling has begun, the company said.
The program is designed to collect all necessary exploration, geotechnical and other data to advance project engineering to the pre-feasibility level. Highlights include 6,900 metres of drilling to upgrade resource classifications, 3,100 metres of geotechnical drilling with hydrogeological installs for pit wall design and tailings storage facility design, a 9,000-metre seismic refraction survey for the tailings storage facility design, and 25 excavator test pits for stockpile and waste storage design.
“Our goal is to produce a pre-feasibility study in the third quarter of 2022,” said Mark Jarvis, CEO of Giga Metals in a release.
The Turnagain project is the core asset of Giga Metals, and is described as one of the significant undeveloped sulphide nickel and cobalt resources in the world. The company is focused on metals critical to modern batteries, especially those used in electric vehicles and energy storage.
The company announced in mid-June that it is investigating expansion of processing at the Turnagain project to include mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) production in its next phase of studies. MHP is a chemical form of nickel and cobalt that is experiencing rapid demand increase for its role in the supply chain for lithium ion batteries.
“MHP is quickly establishing itself as the intermediate of choice by the battery industry in the manufacturing of metal salts (NiSO4 and CoSO4), and is being pursued to directly produce precursors and cathode active materials,” said Martin Vydra, president of Giga Metals. “We know from previous test work and engineering that Turnagain concentrate is amenable to processing into high quality MHP.”
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)