Nickel exploration company, ASX listed Auroch Minerals has launched scoping studies on its Nepean and Saints nickel sulphide projects in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. The studies will evaluate various mining scenarios as the company looks to fast-track the projects to production to capitalise on strong nickel prices and to build on its existing relationship with mining giant, BHP.
Ore from a historical nickel mine at Nepean was previously processed at the Kambalda nickel operations which BHP is due to re-commence next year. The scoping studies will look to assess the potential of bringing the two projects to life and to build upon the existing Saints off-take agreement with BHP. Specialist project delivery company, P1 Australasia will manage the studies in collaboration with Auroch.
Auroch says it is looking to build a business case for generating high-grade nickel sulphide feed for BHP’s processing facilities. It aims to produce high-quality nickel products suitable for lithium-ion batteries used in the flourishing electric vehicle industry. Saints located to the north of Kalgoorlie is 100 per cent owned by Auroch. The 80 per cent owned Nepean lies some 25 kilometres south of Coolgardie and plays host to the historical high-grade Nepean nickel mine which churned out more than a million tonnes of ore grading close to three per cent nickel between 1970 and 1987.