Royal Nickel Reports Positive Results for Dumont Project

Royal Nickel has reported positive results for a bankable feasibility study of its Dumont open-pit nickel project 60 km northeast of Rouyn-Noranda in western Quebec. The study considers a project having initial nickel production of 73 million lb/y, expanded in year five to 113 million lb/y for the remainder of the 20-year mine life. Cash costs net of cobalt and platinum group metal byproducts are estimated at $4.01/lb of nickel during the initial phase of production and $4.31/lb over the project life.

Capital expenditure to develop the Dumont project is estimated at $1.2 billion.

Royal Nickel currently anticipates receipt of the main permit for the project by mid-2014; start of construction subsequent to receipt of permits; and project commissioning in first half of 2016, followed by production ramp-up throughout 2016.

Royal Nickel President and CEO Tyler Mitchelson said, “We are very pleased to have successfully completed this major milestone, which confirms the project NPV of more than $1 billion. When in production, Dumont is expected to be one of the largest base metal mines in Canada and one of the top five sulphide nickel producers globally, targeting production of more than $27 billion of nickel over 33 years based on current reserves alone.

“With our economically and technically sound feasibility study completed, I look forward to accelerating project discussions with potential partners on a financing package that will allow Royal Nickel to rapidly advance the project into the construction stage following the anticipated completion of the main permitting process by the middle of next year,” Mitchelson said. The Dumont project will be an open-pit mine/mill operation, using conventional drilling, blasting and loading, with a combination of hydraulic and electric rope shovels and truck haulage. The mine is designed to produce ore at a rate of approximately twice the capacity of the mill, which will mitigate the risk of feed shortages and allow for the highest-value material to be processed in priority.

As a result, an ore stockpile will be generated to continue to feed the mill for an additional 13 years at the end of the mine life.

The process plant will be constructed in two phases. Phase one will have an initial average throughput of 52,000 mt/d, using a single SAG mill and two ball mills for grinding, desliming using cyclones, conventional flotation, and magnetic separation to produce a nickel concentrate also containing cobalt and platinum group metals.

To accommodate phase two, the plant is designed to be expanded by the fifth year of operation to 105,000 mt/d by effectively duplicating most of the first mill. Additional mine equipment will also be purchased to allow the corresponding increase in mine throughput and the potential to implement trolley assist at that time.

The Dumont project is located adjacent to a rail line and highway and a power line with sufficient capacity for the construction period. A 6-km rail spur will be built from the rail line to provide access into the mine property, and a 10-km power line feed from an existing high-voltage line south of the property will be constructed to provide sufficient power for operations.

As featured in Womp 2013 Vol 07 -