50% jump in indicated mineral resource at ‘unique’ Jaguar Nickel Project for Centaurus Metals
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Special Report: Centaurus makes move towards becoming key global nickel sulphide developer with a significant increase in its indicated mineral resource.
The updated JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) confirmed the indicated resource had increased to over 223,000 tonnes of contained nickel, with nearly 80% of the contained nickel in the MRE located within 200m of the surface.
The shallow open pittable nature of the various deposits at Jaguar is quite unique given there aren’t many undeveloped nickel sulphide projects globally that match the quality and scale of the project.
Centaurus Metals Limited (ASX: CTM) revealed the latest findings conducted at their 100% owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project, situated in the Carajas Mineral Province of Northern Brazil, ahead of the scoping study which is expected to be delivered in March 2021.
The Indicated and Inferred MRE confirmed a global estimate of 58.6Mt at 0.95% Nickel for 557,800 tonnes of contained nickel, with an indicated component of 19.9Mt at 1.12% Nickel for 223,400 tonnes of contained nickel.
The high proportion of near-surface, high-grade resources have the potential to fall within open pit optimisation and mine plans that will underpin the upcoming Jaguar Scoping Study.
The Global MRE is based on more than 74,500m of diamond drilling, including 267 diamond drilling holes. This includes an additional 49 diamond holes of predominantly in-fill drilling that has been completed since the company’s maiden JORC MRE released in June 2020.
Centaurus Managing Director, Mr Darren Gordon, said the company had achieved or surpassed all of the key objectives of its in-fill drilling program conducted over the prior six months.
The primary focus of the resource development in-fill drilling over that period had been the conversion of Inferred Resources to Indicated at primary project deposits. This has involved in-fill drilling at the Jaguar South, Jaguar Central, Jaguar North and Onca Preta Deposits, representing approximately 67% of contained metal within the Global MRE.
“In addition to achieving our primary goal of upgrading the Indicated Resource by 50%, which has significantly de-risked the project ahead of the Scoping Study, we have also achieved a further increase in the global MRE. This reinforces the quality of the Jaguar Project as a globally significant, near-surface nickel sulphide deposit with outstanding potential for continued growth,” Gordon said.
“Importantly, around 80% of the contained nickel tonnes are less than 200m from the surface and we expect that pit optimisation and mine planning work will show that Jaguar has outstanding potential to be a low strip ratio, long life, open pit operation with strong economics, putting us in a great position to deliver on our aspiration to be a clean and efficient 20,000-plus tonne per annum nickel producer by the end of 2024.”
The scoping study to be released by the end of the first quarter of 2021 is set to kick-start plenty of activity throughout the remainder of the calendar year. The strong cash position of over $24 million at the end of December 2020 will drive ongoing resource definition and exploration drilling in parallel with project development work.
Four diamond rigs will continue to conduct in-fill and extensional drilling, with additional rigs to be mobilised to undertake further step-out drilling. This drilling will focus on testing high-grade underground targets and strike extensions of the known deposits.
An exploration team will continue mapping, soil sampling and DHEM/FLEM surveys of the tenement package to generate additional target areas for follow up drilling.
Centaurus also expects to commence a pre-feasibility study and lodge key environmental licence and updated mining lease applications, following the release of the scoping study.
This article was developed in collaboration with Centaurus Metals Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.