Roskill view: Australian Mines has acquired the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland, Australia, following a A$10M (US$8.1M) cash and share deal with Metallica Minerals. The acquisition supersedes a joint-venture agreement with Metallica Minerals signed in 2016.
The combined nickel and cobalt mineral resource is 89Mt at 0.58% nickel and 0.06% cobalt, representing 514kt of nickel and 54kt of cobalt. The scandium resource is 12Mt at 162ppm scandium representing 2.99kt of scandium oxide. A pre-feasibility study completed on the scandium ore body at Sconi suggested that the project could produce 50tpy of high purity scandium oxide over a 20-year mine life. A definitive feasibility study is planned for June 2018.
The company also has an option on the Flemington cobalt-scandium project in New South Wales and acquired the Marriotts nickel deposit from BHP Billiton in 2007. Both remain at an early stage of development.
Australian Mines has started construction of a demonstration-size processing plant in Perth to process ore sourced from Sconi, and subsequently Flemington, to produce commercially saleable samples of cobalt, nickel and scandium. The plant should be operational in Q4 2017 and is expected to produce 67kg of cobalt sulphate, 500kg of nickel sulphate and 8kg of scandium oxide per week.
Roskill expects there to be strong demand for nickel and cobalt sulphates over the coming decade, which should help support potential cobalt projects in particular.
Roskill’s Cobalt: Global Industry, Markets & Outlook report was published in May 2017. Click here to download the brochure or sample pages or access further information.
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