06/07/2021 - 14:14

Palladium adds possible sweetener to Neometals Kambalda nickel concentrate

06/07/2021 - 14:14

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Results from new metallurgical testwork on sample material from the 132N and Munda nickel deposits at ASX-listed Neometals’ Mt Edwards nickel sulphide project in WA’s world-class Widgiemooltha nickel province are said to have confirmed the project’s potential to deliver commercially acceptable nickel concentrates. The presence and recoverability of palladium from the deposits also points to a possible additional revenue source.

Mining of bulk sample material at the Widgie nickel mine at Mt Edwards in WA. Credit: File.

Results from new metallurgical testwork on sample material from the 132N and Munda nickel deposits at ASX-listed Neometals’ Mt Edwards nickel sulphide project in WA’s world-class Widgiemooltha nickel province are said to have confirmed the project’s potential to deliver commercially acceptable nickel concentrates. The presence and recoverability of palladium from the deposits also points to a possible additional revenue source.

The Munda and 132N deposits are considered by the company to represent excellent near-term mining prospects. They are located along a 20km mineralised trend that hosts at least 11 nickel deposits with a combined mineral resource of 10.21 million tonnes grading an average 1.6% nickel for 162,510 tonnes of contained nickel.

Recent flotation testwork conducted by Neometals on mineralised samples from both the Munda and 132N deposits was carried out to determine if nickel mineralisation could be upgraded to commercial grade concentrate.

Initial results from Munda yielded an impressive 83.8% recovery with a 13% nickel concentrate grade. While recoveries from 132N were lower at 62.8%, the final nickel concentrate grade was higher at 13.5%.

Interestingly, palladium in the concentrate from 132N came back at 3.06 grams per tonne, affirming previous results from Neometal’s Armstrong deposit at Mt Edwards that indicated the presence of platinum and palladium at levels considered potentially economic.

A sweetener for a future revenue stream, perhaps.

Noted by the company is the lack of assaying of historical drill samples for platinum and palladium. Neometals says a strong correlation between palladium near known nickel mineral resources could represent significant upside and a clear direction for future exploration.

The ongoing metallurgical testwork is part of a larger geological and geometallurgical assessment to determine the economics of mining and processing at Mt Edwards.

Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed said: “Further to our earlier test-work at Armstrong these preliminary results confirm the presence and recoverability of palladium at 132N, some 4 km south along strike, and the eminently marketable nature of nickel products able to be generated from both 132N and Munda.”

Neometals is continuing to work towards developing the Mt Edwards project where it holds 100% nickel rights to an enviable 300sq.kmland package across the Widgiemoothla Dome, a prolific historical nickel-sulphide mining province and home to Mincor Resource’s newly developed Cassini mine.

Neometals recently announced its intention to seek to demerge its Mt Edwards assets into a new company, Widgie Nickel, so it can focus on its core battery recycling and vanadium extraction businesses. It believes the nickel sulphide resources and exploration potential at Mt Edwards warrant the sole focus of a new exploration and development company.

Management says that via Widgie Nickel the Mt Edwards project can be aggressively advanced to tap into surging demand for nickel from traditional steel and surging lithium-ion battery markets.

Keen observers will be monitoring future Mt Edwards testwork and feasibility studies closely and with a skyrocketing palladium price potentially adding to future revenue forecasts, backers of a new operating entity will eagerly wait to see if the Widgiemooltha nickel province can return to its former glory.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

 

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