Emerging nickel producer Mincor Resources has timed its return to production perfectly.
Nickel has been trading near an 11-year high of A$35,000 per tonne, which equates to significantly above Mincor's definitive feasibility study assumption of A$22,500/t
The A$68 million Kambalda restart is on budget and due for first production in the June quarter.
The company continues to tick off on milestones in its journey back towards nickel production.
The first high-grade development ore was extracted from two underground headings at the Northern Operations in December.
Mincor got a pleasant surprise when it hit high-grade massive sulphides 36m before the target zone on the 485 level.
The D6 ore surface contains massive sulphides averaging 14.6% nickel and is currently outside the mine plan.
At the greenfields Cassini mine, development is nearing the top of the orebody, with first ore expected before the end of March.
Another milestone came in February when Mincor's contractor MLG Oz trucked the first parcel of high-grade nickel ore from the Northern Operations to offtake partner BHP Nickel West's Kambalda concentrator.
It comes after Mincor gave BHP the official start notice for the Kambalda offtake agreement in the December quarter.
It marked the first time ore had been trucked from a Mincor mine to the concentrator in over six years, and signalled the start of the stockpile build ahead of the commissioning of the concentrator in the June quarter.
As development advanced, Mincor has also been aggressively exploring, with recent hits in the untested ‘Golden Mile' returning 6.8m at 2.6% nickel and 1.2m at 8.2% nickel.
All of these achievements were achieved against the backdrop of a global pandemic, associated border closures and a chronic labour shortage in Western Australia.
Despite those challenging factors, Mincor has had no lost time injuries
To further incentivise people in a tight market, it has committed to build a new accommodation village in Kambalda within 10km of Cassini.
Construction is due to begin shortly.
Mincor marked an important step in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey in December with the release of its inaugural sustainability report, which was produced in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The report highlighted a workforce comprising 30% women and a 0% gender pay gap for like-for-like positions - both well above industry averages.
On the environmental front, total scope 1 and 2 emissions for FY21 were less than 12,000 tonnes, with future emissions at full production forecast to be near best in class.
In other highlights, 95% of the company's procurement spend is in WA communities, with a significant portion of this spend within the WA Goldfields