Nickel-focused Estrella Resources is becoming increasingly bullish about shifting into production after receiving further high-grade assays from resource drilling at the company’s Spargoville nickel project near Kambalda in WA. Significant results from its latest diamond drilling include 3.45m going 5.46 per cent nickel from 70m, containing a high-grade 1.2m at a stunning 10.85 per cent, 11.12m at 1.68 per cent from 59m and 2.7m at 2.47 per cent from 74m.
Nickel-focused Estrella Resources is becoming increasingly bullish about shifting into production after receiving further high-grade assays from resource drilling at the company’s Spargoville nickel project near Kambalda in WA.
Significant assays from the latest diamond drilling into the deposit include 3.45m going 5.46 per cent nickel from 70m, containing a high-grade 1.2m at a stunning 10.85 per cent from 72m, 11.12m at 1.68 per cent from 59m and 2.7m at 2.47 per cent from 74m.
Another hole from 74m intersected 2.6m of visually observed massive and matrix sulphides with assays pending.
With the drilling complete and 75 per cent of all assays now back from the laboratory, the results have confirmed the 5A Deposit contains significant grades below the open pit.
The company will be hoping the high-grade hits translate into an expansion of the currently defined resource as it powers towards the start of full-scale mining in early 2023.
Estrella Resources Managing Director, Chris Daws said: “We are pleased with the steady flow of high nickel assays returning from the confirmation program. With these results received, the team are accelerating our resource modelling and metallurgical work which will further inform our plan to commence full scale mining, which remains on target in the first quarter of 2023.”
In May, following a major appreciation in the price of nickel, the company announced it would seek to rapidly transition Spargoville’s premier deposit, 5A into a producing asset.
Estrella acquired Spargoville in September 2017 with the purchase of the holding company WA Nickel. At the time the company believed the 5A deposit was a compelling target for generating a mineral resource estimate and did so in 2019 after firing its own volley of holes in late 2018.
Notably, the 2018 drill efforts yielded a remarkable 15m intersection going 10.45 per cent nickel, 0.78 per cent copper, 0.20 per cent cobalt and 1.15 grams per tonne palladium from 20m.
The deposit’s resource stands tall at 127,000 tonnes grading 1.9 per cent nickel and 0.15 per cent copper for 2370 tonnes of nickel and 190 tonnes of copper contained.
Shortly after the acquisition of Spargoville in 2017, Estrella acquired the Carr Boyd nickel venture 80km north-east of Kalgoorlie that it now hails as its flagship project.
The company intends to develop Spargoville concurrently with ongoing exploration at Carr Boyd.
After topping an astronomical US$100,000 per tonne in early March, the price of nickel has returned to its pre-hysteric levels of about US$22,000 per tonne.
Whilst Estrella was unable to reap the benefits of the short-term price surge, given the lithium-ion battery industry’s increasing dependence on nickel, the long-term outlook for the metal remains positive.
According to the International Nickel Study Group, the global demand for nickel stands at about three million tonnes in 2022 whereas the International Energy Agency sees nickel demand possibly exceeding six million tonnes by 2040.
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