ANACONDA Nickel Limited has formed a strategic alliance with three other nickel producers to give the company the world’s largest nickel resource.The alliance was made between Anaconda Nickel Limited and Goldfields Limited, Homestake Gold of Australia Limited and Centaur Mining and Exploration Limited. It boosts Anaconda’s nickel resource to more than 4 billion tonnes of laterite target and in excess of 1.3 billion tonnes of resources and reserves drilled to date.The contiguous reserves are adjacent to a huge water resource and serviced by all necessary infrastructure.The massive size of the resource — located in the Goldfields region of WA— has established Anaconda’s Three Nickel Province strategy, with each Province able to host integrated processing facilities producing in excess of 100,000 tonnes of nickel per annum each.Anaconda’s three provinces – Northern (1.5 billion tonnes), Central (1 billion tonnes) and Southern (1.5 billion tonnes) — are based on the Mount Margaret project, the Murrin Murrin and Cawse operations respectively. Two other projects, based on modular plants also utilising a new Anaconda process are now under review for the Northern and Southern Provinces.With the available resources, each project has a mine life in excess of 50 years at low capital cost.Anaconda chief executive Andrew Forrest said the success of the Anaconda process, which incorporates high pressure acid leach technology among other technologies, produces nickel and cobalt from laterites at very low capital cost.This means that each of Anaconda’s three provinces have, as individual provinces, significantly greater recoverable metal than the undeveloped Voisey’s Bay sulphide nickel resource in Canada.Inco Limited bought Voisey’s Bay in 1997 for CND$4.5 billion.“The driving mission of Anaconda has always been to be the world’s largest and most profitable producer of nickel and cobalt, through the development of Australia’s dry laterite industries,” Mr Forrest said.“The Three Nickel Provinces will achieve that goal.“Our strategy to secure the abundant nickel resources of the goldfields region of Western Australia, combined with unprecedented low operating and capital cost technology, has now made the three provinces the world’s most exciting nickel region.”
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