23/07/2018 - 14:50

Western Areas kicks off Odysseus

23/07/2018 - 14:50

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Nickel miner Western Areas has begun early works at its Odysseus project, signing on local contractor MACA, while also announcing it had reached its production guidance for the year to June.

Dan Lougher says the company is focused on delivering guidance in the June quarter.

Nickel miner Western Areas has begun early works at its Odysseus project, signing on local contractor MACA, while also announcing it had reached its production guidance for the year to June.

Western announced in April that it had approved a $32 million early works program at Odysseus, with a definitive feasibility study set to be released in the September quarter.

The nickel producer said today it had awarded a number of contracts, including the appointment of Maca to complete earthworks and construction of two new water management ponds (WMPs).

Western also said it had appointed a local indigenous earthmoving contractor to refurbish five existing WMPs.

The existing Cosmos village was upgraded to 120-room capacity for contractors and employees, with about 80 on site in June.

Western said the DFS remained on track for release in the September quarter.

The company also released its quarterly production figures, with 6,381 tonnes of nickel mined in the June quarter, taking FY18 output to 24,442t.

Mill production was 5,368t for the quarter and 21,060t in FY18.

Western said it had hit all production guidance metrics for the year.

Managing director Dan Lougher said the company was focused on delivering guidance in the June quarter. 

“Pleasingly the mill recovery enhancement project delivered its first product to the high-grade specification of between 45-50 per cent nickel, with go-forward efforts now focussed on ramping up volumes,” he said.

“The commencement of early works and the awarding of major contracts at Odysseus were significant milestones for the company.

“The DFS remains on schedule for delivery late September and our expectation is that Odysseus will have a mine life in excess of 10 years.”

The announcement by Western Areas followed news from Panoramic Resources, which recently said it would reopen its mothballed Savannah nickel project in the east Kimberley, while Poseidon Nickel flagged a restart of the Black Swan project.

Shares in Western were off 2.55 per cent at $3.24 each at 3pm AEDT.

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