In-fill drilling and flotation testwork complete, updated MRE on track, DFS advancing well

Centaurus Metals (ASX:CTM) is pleased to provide an update on the progress of the Jaguar Nickel Project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and project development initiatives, with the latest work continuing to clearly demonstrate the enormous scale of the project.


  • In-fill drill program now complete with updated Mineral Resource Estimate on track for the end of Q3 2022.
  • Based on the current MRE of the Jaguar deposits and recent pit optimisation work used to design the in-fill drill program, the pits are coalescing into one with a strike extent of 3km, up to 1km width and depths that extend to over 300m while maintaining a low strip ratio of approximately 7.5:1.
  • Flotation testwork now complete, with over 50 bulk flotation tests completed to produce over 400kg of concentrate ready to use as feed for pilot plant testing of the planned pressure oxidation circuit.
  • The delivery date for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) has been reviewed by Ausenco and the Company and is now targeted for the end of March 2023, in part due the expansion in the overall Project design flowing from the significantly larger Jaguar Resource base and project footprint and in part due to delays in being able to start the pilot program as originally scheduled.
  • A Final Investment Decision (FID) remains on track for the end of Q3 2023, after relevant environmental approvals have been secured.
  • In addition to the main nickel sulphate product from Jaguar, by-product credits are planned to be delivered from a copper cathode recovery circuit and separate zinc and cobalt mixed sulphide precipitates.
  • Foundation geotechnical investigations and sterilisation drilling of major infrastructure areas (IWL, Waste Dumps and Process Plant site) have been completed with, importantly, no economic mineralisation intersected in the sterilisation work.
  • New Core Shed being built on site at Jaguar capable of holding 280,000m of drill core.
  • Plant nursery established to assist with the Company’s revegetation efforts for the creation of fauna corridors around the project area.
  • Enrolment process for a 1,500-person construction training program has commenced and has been received very well by the local community.
  • Vale royalty on the production of nickel sulphate agreed at a rate of 0.55%. The royalty rate, should the Company ever produce a nickel concentrate product, will remain at 0.75% as established under the original agreement to acquire the Jaguar Project.
  • Experienced London-based nickel marketing executive, Mr Robert Aird, appointed as Head of Nickel Sales on consulting basis.
  • Centaurus remains well-funded with $60 million in cash and no debt.

Commenting on the DFS progress, Centaurus Metals Managing Director, Mr Darren Gordon, said: "The Jaguar Project is continuing to reveal its world-class credentials with each package of work that we complete. With in-fill drilling now complete and a significant amount of work already well advanced for the Definitive Feasibility Study, the broader project development is now really beginning to gather speed.

“What is continuing to shine through at Jaguar is the sheer scale of the Project. It is not too often in a mining project that you get to develop a mine plan where the open pits are likely to extend over 3km along strike, be up to 1km wide and extend to depths of over 300 metres while still maintaining a low strip ratio of approximately 7.5:1.

"Given the increased scale of the Project and COVID-related delays in starting the pilot testwork program, we have agreed with Ausenco that the DFS will now be targeted for delivery at the end of March 2023, rather than the end of 2022 as originally conceived. This will provide additional time to complete all the DFS work to a very high standard, without compromising the overall delivery schedule for the Project.

“We are still targeting a Final Investment Decision at the end of Q3 2023, once all environmental approvals have been secured, paving the way for us to deliver the world’s next significant green nickel project.”

MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE (MRE) UPDATE

The December 2021 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) comprises 80.6Mt @ 0.91% Ni for 730,700t of contained nickel (Table 1), with the Indicated component of the Resource being 43.4Mt @ 0.92% Ni for 397,000t of contained nickel, representing 54% of the Global MRE.

The Company has now completed Resource development in-fill drilling across all the Jaguar and Onca Deposits at the Jaguar Project. Drilling was designed to upgrade all Resources within a constrained US$22,000/t nickel price pit shell limit into the higher- confidence Indicated category.

Further in-fill drilling to upgrade Indicated Resources into Measured has also been completed to provide additional confidence in the MRE that will underpin the early stages of mining and nickel production. The in-fill drill results continue to support the current geological model and demonstrate the continuity of the mineralisation both down-dip and along strike.

The Company is targeting more than 500,000t of contained nickel in the Measured and Indicated categories of the next MRE, planned for the end of Q3 2022, which will underpin the Jaguar Project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and initial Ore Reserve Estimate. With the completion of the in-fill drilling, the drill rigs have now moved to Resource growth focused step-out and extensional drilling as well as new discovery greenfields drilling.

MINE ACTIVITIES

Geotechnical Investigations
Geotechnical logging of selected exploration drill core, subsequent modelling of major geotechnical domains and drilling of a geotechnical drill program have been completed to support open pit wall design. Samples from the drill core representing differing lithologies were collected and sent to the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) for strength testing.

An additional drill program including four short holes designed to test the rock mass conditions in the upper levels of the Jaguar South Pit Southern Wall was completed in early July.

Results have shown the rock conditions for the pits to be generally good to very good. Localised zones of weak rock mass conditions associated with biotite alteration will require local management but are spatially constrained and their location and extents are well understood.

Open pit wall and underground stope designs for the DFS will be finalised in the next 2-3 weeks.


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This article includes content from Centaurus Metals (ASX Code: CTM), licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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