Pacific Nickel continues to take its Kolosori nickel project closer to production, with early works nearing completion ahead of schedule.

The early works program at the Kolosori project on Isabel Island, Solomon Islands, is expected to be completed by the end of this month. The focus of the program was to allow the company and its contractors to establish a site base ahead of the main construction phase in April/May this year subject to appropriate Government approvals and funding.

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM) noted that the main components of the early works program were preparation of a number of test pits to assess mining and stockpile designs and calibrate grade control methods, a geotechnical assessment of the proposed nickel load-out site, and assessing quarry sites to provide construction material for the wharf and roads.

Kolosori is currently envisioned as a direct shipping ore (DSO) project, with its easily accessible resource of 5.89 million tonnes grading 1.55% nickel which requires no processing in a DSO model.

It is currently expected to produce 93,450t of contained nickel grading 1.5% nickel, with the option to mine higher grades in excess of 1.6% nickel early in the mine schedule.

Planned activities for the current quarter include completing an MRE update for the Kolosori project and progressing through the required regulatory approvals to receive a mining lease.

Test pits and other work

Pacific Nickel said completion of the first test pit – located in the proposed mining areas nearest to the proposed wharf area – is expected before the end of this week.

Work on the first test pit is said to already be providing valuable information regarding the ore characteristics and moisture content, which will be used to improve mining productivity.

This successful information gathering may allow the company to forgo completing a planned second test pit.

Meanwhile, three geotechnical holes have been completed and the company is now carrying out an assessment of the ground conditions at the wharf site, though it noted that visual observations were consistent with expectations for the initial port design.

Results from this work will feed into the definitive feasibility study being undertaken by the company and its consultants Resindo.

Assessment of quarry sites also appears to have found material suitable for planned construction work, though final testing of the materials will need to be completed.




This article was developed in collaboration with Pacific Nickel Mines, 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.