Royal Nickel Advancing Dumont Project

Royal Nickel is advancing its Dumont nick-el project in western Quebec, about 60 km northeast of Rouyn-Noranda, based on the results of a positive prefeasibility study that demonstrates a robust project with a large, world-class resource and excellent project economics. The prefeasibility study was completed by Ausenco Ltd. and is based on staged project development, with initial production of 50,000 mt/d of ore and 29,000 mt/y of nickel in concentrates at an initial capital expenditure of $1.1 billion.

By year five of operations, production would be expanded to 100,000 mt/d and 49,000 mt/y of nickel in concentrates at an additional capital expenditure of $700,000. At that production rate, Dumont would be among the world's five largest sulphide nickel mines.

The Dumont project has 1.1 billion mt of probable reserves grading 0.27% nickel, a life-of-mine open-pit strip ratio of 1.2:1, and a project life of 31 years. All major support infrastructure is already in place, including rail line, roads and water. Potential project upsides include produc-tion of a final ferronickel product, produc-tion of a magnetite iron ore concentrate by-product, additional recovery optimization, and use of in-pit crushing or trolley assist to reduce mining costs.

The Dumont project will be an open-pit mine and milling operation, with conven-tional drilling, blasting and loading using electric shovels and truck haulage. The pro-cessing plant will initially incorporate a sin-gle SAG mill and twin ball mills for grind-ing, desliming using cyclones, and conven-tional flotation and magnetic separation to produce a nickel concentrate that will also contain cobalt and platinum group metal by-products. The plant has been designed to be expanded by the fifth year of opera-tion to 100,000 mt/d by effectively dupli-cating most of the first mill. Additional mine equipment will be purchased to pro-vide the increased plant throughput.

Royal Nickel intends to advance the Dumont project on multiple fronts, with a view to obtaining permits by the end of 2013 and beginning production by the end of 2015.

"Royal Nickel's prefeasibility study pro-vides strong validation of the confidence we have maintained in the company since its founding," Scott Hand, executive chair-man of Royal Nickel, said. "We have a tremendous base metal project in Dumont and an outstanding management team to advance it. I continue to have every confi-dence that Dumont is poised to become a world-class nickel producer."

As featured in Womp 2011 Vol 10 -