Centaurus Metals (ASX:CTM) reports it has seen a ‘significant’ increase in the mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in northern Brazil.
The company says the updated JORC 2012 MRE comprising 108 million tonnes @ 0.87% Ni for 938,500 tonnes of contained nickel, confirming Jaguar as one of the ‘largest’ nickel sulphide resources held by an ASX-listed company, and the ‘largest’ outside of the major mining companies.
It also reports the infill resource development program completed over the last year has resulted in a 100% increase in the measured and indicated component of the resource to 85.5 million tonnes @ 0.85% Ni for 730,000 tonnes of contained nickel, representing more than 75% of the global MRE.
The measured and indicated component of the MRE is set to underpin the company’s maiden ore reserve estimate (ORE) and definitive feasibility study due for completion in mid-2023. Centaurus also reports the global MRE at Jaguar has increased by 28% since the previous resource estimate announced in December 2021 and over 80% since the company’s maiden resource was announced in June 2020.
Centaurus Managing Director Darren Gordon said the strength of the resource upgrade represented an exceptional outcome and marked a pivotal milestone in the rapid evolution of the Jaguar Project to become one of the world’s premier nickel sulphide development project with class-leading ESG credentials.
“Importantly more than 600,000 tonnes of nickel metal in the measured and indicated categories sit within a US $22,000/t Ni pit shell and as such we expect to see a strong conversion of the measured and indicated resource to ore reserves to underpin the DFS that is set for delivery mid-2023.
This provides a great platform for Jaguar to produce over 20,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per annum for 20 plus years, setting Centaurus on the path to become a top 10 nickel sulphide miner globally
It is clear to us that the demand for nickel sulphate is growing rapidly as auto makers increasingly focus on where they are going to source their nickel from and what the emissions footprint looks like for the nickel that is essential to their EV rollout.
We are extremely confident that Jaguar can deliver nickel with class leading ESG credentials, including very low levels of GHG emissions, as a result of the relatively high-grade nature of the ore, the fact that 80% of the power in Brazil is generated from renewable sources and that a value added nickel sulphate product will be produced onsite at Jaguar.
“AT THE PRESENTLY ASSESSED LEVEL OF 4.69 TONNES OF CO2 PER TONNE OF NICKEL EQUIVALENT, THE JAGUAR PROJECT WILL BE ONE OF THE LOWEST CARBON EMISSION PROJECTS IN THE GLOBAL NICKEL INDUSTRY”
At the presently assessed level of 4.69 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of nickel equivalent, the Jaguar Project will be one of the lowest carbon emission projects in the global nickel industry.
With the DFS resource now locked away, drilling activities will focus on organic resource growth through systematic step-out and extensional drilling as well as a move to focus on greenfields drilling to target new discoveries.
We are already very close and now more confident than ever that we can deliver a MRE with more than 1 million tonnes of contained nickel metal in 2023, which would be an outstanding achievement for the company, confirming Jaguar as a truly world class deposit.”
Centaurus reports continued step-out and extensional drilling has contributed to delivering an exceptional 421,000 tonnes of additional contained nickel metal since the company’s maiden resource in June 2020, reflecting a new resources growth of around 165,000 tonnes of contained nickel per annum.
The infill drilling at the Jaguar and Onca Deposits also means more than 75% of the global MRE is now classified in the ‘higher’ confidence measured and indicated categories, which will be available for conversion to ore reserves as part of the DFS due to be completed next year.
The company also reports the mineralisation at Jaguar remains open down-dip at all deposits and locally along strike, with potential to continue strong resource growth driven by step-out and extensional drilling targeting DHEM conductor plates and greenfield drilling of the regional exploration pipeline.
Centaurus is targeting to deliver more than 1 million tonnes of contained nickel metal in the next MRE update set of mid-2023.
The 2021 MRE has been completed by independent resource specialists Trepanier using 699 diamond holes drilled for 162,750m including 459 diamond drillholes completed for 96,318m by Centaurus since November 2019, and an additional 10,020m of reverse circulation drilling (71 holes) has been included.
Centaurus Metals is an exploration company focused on the development of the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in the Carajas Mineral Province in Brazil.
The company also holds the Jambreiro Iron Ore Project in southeast Brazil.
Images: Centaurus Metals Limited & iStock