Mincor nickel production ramping up

NICKEL producer Mincor Resources says it has reached an inflection point in the ramp-up of its Kambalda operations with increased material movement and production.
Mincor nickel production ramping up Mincor nickel production ramping up Mincor nickel production ramping up Mincor nickel production ramping up Mincor nickel production ramping up

Underground at Kambalda

Lateral development for the December quarter was steady at 2547 tonnes.

Development ore halved to 27,267t, while stope ore jumped from 6990t or 12% in the September quarter to 17,762t or 39%, including the first tonnes from the new Cassini mine.

The company delivered 67,725t of ore grading 1.7% nickel to BHP for processing, realising A$20.2 million in revenue.

Production was 1015t of nickel-in-concentrate, up from 928t in the September quarter.

It takes half-year production to 1943t.

Mincor has maintained 2023 financial year guidance of 8000-10,000t of nickel-in-concentrate, weighted to the current half.

New Mincor managing director Gabrielle Iwanow said it was an exciting time to join the company.

"Operational ramp-ups always come with their challenges, particularly in a macro environment that has seen significant cost inflation and labour shortages," she said.

"That said, the team is doing an incredible job to manage these challenges, and we made substantial progress during the quarter.

"Since commencing with Mincor in mid-November, I have focused on building on the excellent work already undertaken to now accelerate our activities and achieve the guidance we have set in the market.

"We have realised a number of important milestones which show that we can deliver a strong second half of the financial year.

"These include safely completing the first stopes at Cassini (a key milestone for a brand-new operation), the successful renegotiation of our underground contract with our mining partner, Pit n Portal (Emeco Group), and completing a highly successful capital raise that positions the company for accelerated development and exploration."

Mincor had $85.5 million of cash at the end of December after raising $55 million last month.

It received a further $8.7 million from a share purchase plan this month.

The company has delivered 48% of its hedge book and has only 2443t of future production left to deliver.

The nickel price finished December at $44,908 per tonne, nearly double the price used in Mincor's feasibility study.

Mincor has three underground drill rigs operating at Kambalda.

Last week the company reported hits grading up to 12.4% nickel at Durkin North and 11.8% nickel at the new LN04a discovery.

"I'm also pleased by the progress being made by our geology and exploration teams, with new drilling at the Northern Operations indicating an expanded mineralised channel between Long and Durkin, and the very first underground drilling program at Cassini, which commenced early in the New Year," Iwanow said.

Shares in Mincor dropped 3% today to $1.62, giving the company a market capitalisation of $867.3 million.