06/09/2007 - 11:53

Jubilee approves Sinclair nickel project

06/09/2007 - 11:53


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West Perth-based Jubilee Mines NL has approved the $90 million development of its Sinclair nickel project, near Leonora, after a pre-feasibility study confirmed the project's technical and economic viability.

Jubilee approves Sinclair nickel project

West Perth-based Jubilee Mines NL has approved the $90 million development of its Sinclair nickel project, near Leonora, after a pre-feasibility study confirmed the project's technical and economic viability.



The full text of a Jubilee announcement is pasted below

Jubilee Mines NL (ASX: JBM) is pleased to announce formal approval to proceed with development of its 100%-owned Sinclair Nickel Project, located 100km south of its Cosmos Nickel Operations in Western Australia, following completion of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study confirming the technical and economic viability of the Project.

The Sinclair Nickel Project - which will be a standalone operation - will comprise an open pit and underground mining operation, a new treatment facility with a base case 300,000 tonne per annum (tpa) capacity, tailings storage facility, 200-person accommodation village, project infrastructure, airstrip and communication systems. This will represent Jubilee's first new mine development outside of the immediate Cosmos mine environment.

The formal go-ahead is based on the current Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource for the Sinclair Nickel Project of 1.22 million tonnes @ 2.77% Ni for 33,799 nickel metal tonnes. An updated resource incorporating the results of successful drilling which has extended the deposit approximately 300 metres down-plunge is expected to be completed later this month.

Jubilee's Board is confident that Sinclair will emerge as a substantial new production centre for the Company, and is designing the treatment facility and associated site infrastructure to accommodate future expansion. In addition to upgrades at Sinclair, Jubilee is confident of significant additions to its resource inventory at Skye/Stirling, located immediately south of Sinclair, and numerous other exploration targets in the region such as Parnassus, Delphi and Schmitz Well.

The Sinclair Nickel Project will commence as an open pit to extract near-surface oxide and supergene mineralisation before transitioning to an underground mining operation. The open pit will deliver approximately 1.5 years of ore production, with the underground mine decline portal to be located approximately half way down the pit. Because the deposit commences close to surface and plunges gently to the north, Jubilee expects to achieve a quick production start up and a seamless production transition between open pit and underground production.

Production is expected to average around 6,000 tpa of nickel-in-concentrate, with an initial four-year mine life based on the current resource. However, with the forthcoming resource upgrade and ongoing exploration in the region, Jubilee is confident of the potential to significantly extend the mine life and upgrade production in the future.

Pre-development activities for the Sinclair Nickel Project are well advanced, with most approvals in place or anticipated shortly. Site works are expected to commence shortly. Jubilee has already committed to key long-lead items including a SAG mill and 200-person accommodation village, and personnel recruitment. Total pre-production capital - including the plant construction, infrastructure and mine development - is estimated at A$90 million, which will be internally funded.

Subject to timely receipt of final environmental and regulatory approvals, as well as availability of other major items, Jubilee is targeting commencement of open pit oxide production during the June Quarter 2008, with first sulphide concentrate production during the September Quarter 2008.

Commenting on the announcement, Jubilee's Executive Chairman, Kerry Harmanis, said Sinclair - which is a new grass roots discovery by Jubilee's exploration team - represents the first new standalone nickel project to be developed by the Company in a new nickel province since Cosmos in the late 1990s. "As we celebrate our 20th anniversary as a listed Company and the 10th anniversary of the discovery of Cosmos, it is very pleasing to announce the go-ahead for the development of a new mining complex in the Sinclair region," he said.

"From late next year, Sinclair will make an important contribution to our growing production profile, supplementing production from the Alec Mairs Complex and Prospero at Cosmos," Mr Harmanis continued.

"The start-up operation at Sinclair is very much based on the Cosmos model and we see it becoming the cornerstone of a substantial mining operation which will continue for many years to come," he added. "It is important to remember that, apart from Sinclair itself, which continues to grow, we have exciting new discoveries at Skye/Stirling immediately adjacent to Sinclair, and multiple exploration targets within a 5km radius."

"Moreover, our broader ground position in the Sinclair region spans a 45km strike length of largely untested prospective ultramafic which I believe, like Cosmos, will continue to deliver significant new discoveries for many years to come," Mr Harmanis said. "This is an exciting new nickel province which is very much in its infancy, and we are now taking the first steps to unlocking its value."


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