Tartisan releases positive PEA for Kenbridge underground nickel mine

Over the life of mine, processing would produce 200,900 tonnes of nickel concentrate at 15% nickel and 66,900 tonnes of copper concentrate at 24% copper. This amount will contain 52.6 million pounds of payable nickel and 30.7 million pounds of payable copper.

Life of mine revenues are estimated at C$837 million, while operating costs are pegged at C$292 million. Capital costs are estimated at C$227 million and include pre-production capital costs of C$134 million.

The total cash flow generated by the project, less its operating and capital expenditures, closure costs and taxes, is C$180 million. Its after-tax net present value, using a 5% discount rate, is estimated at C$109 million, with an internal rate of return of 20%.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of the PEA, which focuses solely on the current underground mineral resource. There remains excellent potential to increase and improve the quality of near-surface mineralization at Kenbridge, thereby adding additional years of production or providing the basis for increased annual throughput,” said Mark Appleby, President and CEO of the direction of Tartisan.

Underground mining, according to Appleby, will allow the company to utilize existing shaft infrastructure, thereby accessing higher grades of mineralization early in the proposed mine life.

The company has now started the basic studies necessary for the authorization of the project and is upgrading the access road to the site, with completion expected in September 2022.

The Kenbridge nickel deposit was first discovered in 1937 by Coniagas. Falconbridge acquired the property in 1952, began construction in 1954 with subsequent mining lasting 2.5 years. A 609 meter shaft with two working levels was drilled and a bulk sample was extracted, but it was closed in 1958.

The project was inactive until 2007, when Canadian Arrow acquired the property, completed a 40,000 meter drilling campaign and proceeded with the establishment of a resource estimate and a PEA according to NI 43- 101. The company was later acquired by Tartisan in 2017, which then updated the resource based on combined open-pit and underground mining (7.58 million tonnes at 0.58% nickel and 0.32 % of copper measured and indicated).

Bonny J. Streater