Bouyed by forecasts on the market penetration of EVs and demand for battery raw materials, including nickel, copper and cobalt, through to 2030, Sabre Resources Ltd (ASX:SBR) has decided to commission a scoping study to determine the economics of the Sherlock Bay Nickel Project in Western Australia.
The study is being coordinated by Dr. Natalia Steltsova, a highly regarded metallurgist specialising in nickel and will look at the project’s viability at current nickel prices.
The new scoping study will build on extensive previous work including a feasibility study carried out by the Sherlock Bay Nickel Corporation Limited between 2004 and 2007.
Between 2004 and 2007, a feasibility study was carried out on the Sherlock Bay Nickel resource that included extensive studies on the mining, environment, geotechnical, hydrology, plant design and other matters necessary to complete the feasibility study.
In 2018, Australian Mining Consultants Pty Ltd (AMC) completed a mining study on the Sherlock Bay Nickel deposit. As part of the mining study, AMC prepared and documented cost schedules for the open pit and underground mining of the deposit.
The mining study, processing study and other work done by Sabre has provided the company with confidence that the Sherlock Bay deposit has the potential to become an economic mining development. It is for these reasons that Sabre has now commenced a scoping study.
Sabre management considers that it is well positioned to take advantage of the recovery in the nickel, copper and cobalt prices.
Sherlock Bay is an advanced nickel-copper-cobalt project located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The Sherlock Bay drill database contains 251 RC and diamond holes for ~33,500m of drilling and has a JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resource of 24.6 million tonnes grading 0.4% nickel, 0.09% copper and 0.02% cobalt. 50.6% of the resource is in the Measured category with 24.7% in the Indicated category and 24.7% in the Inferred category.
The deposit contains approximately 99,200 tonnes of nickel metal, 21,700 tonnes of copper metal and 5,400 tonnes of cobalt metal and has the potential to be increased by further drilling. The current nickel price is US$16,001 a tonne and the copper price is US$8,768 a tonne.
The process design for the scoping study is already underway. Once this is completed, it will be followed by detailed engineering and CAPEX-OPEX calculations.