Mincor Resources is readying itself for a possible restart of Long nickel mine in Kambalda after appointing Mining Executive Dean Will as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

Mincor closed its Kambalda nickel mines in 2016 after a sustained downturn in prices for the steel-hardening commodity, but is eyeing a restart of its operations next year.

The explorer recently snapped up neighbouring Long mine from Independence Group in a $9.5 million deal, expanding the company’s footprint across the Kambalda nickel district.

Mincor is aiming to complete a feasibility study into an integrated restart plan for Kambalda before the end of the year and Managing Director David Southam said Mr Will’s appointment ticked all the right boxes at just the right time.

“We are on a pathway to get back into production and Dean has significant history with nickel and sulphide nickel and Kambalda,” he said.

“It just worked out really well for us. We needed someone and Dean was available and he was also very instrumental in assisting us purchase the Long asset off Independence Group just recently as well.”

IGO shut the mine in June last year after producing almost 140,000t of nickel metal over 16 years, resulting in the loss of about 60 jobs.

But Mincor’s ability to restart operations was given a vote of confidence by IGO’s managing director Peter Bradford, who last month told the Kalgoorlie Miner he was confident in the potential of the Kambalda nickel district.

Mr Southam said having the Kambalda Dome consolidated under Mincor’s ownership and recent capital raising meant Mincor would be poised to hit the ground running if the nickel price was right.

“In nickel, you don’t want to wait for the price to get to the right spot, you need to put some capital to work early so you are ready,” he said.

“Our restart capital expenditure is substantially cheaper than building a new operation and so we are in a bit more of a privileged position there and we are not using a nickel price in our numbers too dissimilar from (what the price is) today.

“The price that we are using was actually there a few months ago until recent global issues around trade wars and things like that.

“Prior to that, the price was very close to our restart price, so it doesn’t need much of an improvement.”

 

Image: David Southman, The West Australian.