Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) has unveiled an updated mineral resource estimate for its 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in Brazil, delivering a 30% increase in resource inventory.
The result sees total resources increase to 80.6Mt @0.91% Ni for 730,700 tonnes of contained nickel, and confirms the project as one of the largest nickel sulphide resources controlled by an ASX-listed company outside of the major miners.
Importantly, the MRE has delivered a significant increase in indicated-category resources, which now sits at 43.4Mt @ 0.92% Ni for 397,000 tonnes of contained nickel. This represents 54% of the total MRE.
Addressing the update, Centaurus Metals Managing Director Darren Gordon said: “Since our maiden JORC Resource in June of 2020 we have safely completed more than 50,000m of drilling despite the COVID-19 pandemic and have successfully added more than 210,000t of contained nickel in resources at a rate of 140kt of contained nickel per annum – which is an outstanding achievement and a credit to the entire Centaurus team.
“Since our maiden JORC Resource in June of 2020 we have safely completed more than 50,000m of drilling despite the COVID-19 pandemic”
After acquiring the Project, drilling in 2020 focused on in-filling and upgrading as much of the Resource as we could into the Indicated category so we could complete our Scoping Study. 2021 saw further in-fill drilling but with an additional focus on step-out and extensional drilling which has resulted in this further significant increase.
If we are able to maintain our current growth rate of 140kt of contained nickel per annum, we can realistically aim to grow the Resource to over 1 million tonnes of contained nickel by the time we are building the project in the second half of 2023. That would well and truly position it as a world-class project. It is incredible to think that we will have a high-grade open pittable nickel sulphide project, located in a world-class mining province, with access to more than 80% renewable power and knocking on the door of operations to deliver high-margin, low GHG emission nickel.”
The update follows successful infill, extensional and step-out drilling programs carried out by Centaurus during 2021. The company reports that it expects the indicated-category resource, which commences from surface, to grow as infill drilling progresses over the coming six months aided by 11 diamond drill rigs.
Centaurus further notes that this new, expanded resource will support upcoming mine optimisation and production profile studies, which will determine optimal mine capacity for the development of the project. An expansion in processing plant capacity is likely to result in a material positive impact on project economics, which currently stands at 20,000ktpa of nickel-in-sulphate over 13 years.
Images: Centaurus Metals Limited