Mincor Resources' Cassini nickel mine was officially opened today ahead of the planned start of production, with the main decline named after the late Roy Woodall.
The opening comes just days after the company secured $55 million to facilitate the restart of its Kambalda nickel operations.
The mine was placed in care and maintenance about five years ago as a result of low nickel prices, but Mincor hopes to commence nickel production again early next year through the $68 million development; which is expected to create more than 200 jobs.
Cassini is anticipated to contribute about 56 per cent of Mincor's total nickel over the five-year life of the project, with the first nickel concentrate to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.
The ore will be processed at BHP’s Kambalda Nickel Concentrator, with the nickel concentrate expected to be processed into nickel sulphate for use in the global EV battery industry.
During the official opening earlier today, Mincor’s chairman Brett Lambert and managing director David Southam unveiled a plaque naming the decline at Cassini the “The Woodall Decline” after the late Dr Roy Woodall, a leading earth scientist and former Western Mining Corporation director who passed away last month.
Dr Woodall’s career in the mining sector spanned more than six decades, the majority of which was spent establishing Western Mining Corporation as one of the most successful exploration companies in the world before it was acquired by BHP in 2005.
Widely regarded as the father of Kambalda, Dr Woodall’s scientific approach to exploration was credited with contributing to the discovery of the Kambalda Nickel Field in 1962.
Mr Southam said the company was deeply honoured that the Woodall family had allowed it to celebrate Dr Woodall’s legacy and said it symbolised the connection between Kambalda’s rich past and its future as a key supplier to the battery metals sector.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston congratulated the company and said the mine opening was a massive achievement, particularly after the market downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.