Panoramic Resources has stockpiled more than half of the ore needed at the Savannah nickel operations in Western Australia for a November production restart.
The company stockpiled 54,644 tonnes of ore at the end of August ahead of its 100,000 tonnes target when the processing plant restarts.
Panoramic is targeting its first shipment of nickel-copper-cobalt concentrate in December 2021.
The company has also completed its first grade control drilling program (the 1381 grade control program) at Savannah North, which will secure final designs for the production level to commence stope production in late October.
Panoramic started mining the first stope of Savannah North on the 1381 level in late March 2021.
The grade control program included 20 drill holes for a total 912 drill metres, and 597 samples collected and submitted for assay.
According to Panoramic, the 1381 control program included results of 26.95 metres at 1.44 per cent nickel, 0.43 per cent copper and 0.10 per cent cobalt from 30.05 metres.
“We are bringing the asset back into production at an opportune time. Nickel prices have gone through multi-year highs, and copper fundamentals look attractive on both the demand and supply sides,” Panoramic board chair Nicholas Cernotta said in the company’s annual report on Monday.
“Corporate interest has also been rising in the nickel space and highlights the strategic value of Savannah as the next Australian nickel sulphide asset in production.
“Just as importantly, nickel and copper have important roles to play in the decarbonisation of our energy and transport sectors, which we are pleased to be on the verge of contributing to once again.”
The company has also continued to progress underground mining in July through contractor Barminco.
In July, Panoramic awarded Barminco a $280 million contract for underground mining.
“Pleasingly production from Savannah stopes have progressed to plan with single stope blasts of 30,000 tonnes being carried out with no technical difficulties,” Panoramic stated.
“The grades mined to date are in line with expectations based on preliminary sampling with final grade reconciliation to be available once the processing plant has been commissioned and concentrate produced.”
Last year, Panoramic reported an increased mine life at Savannah from eight years to around 13 years.