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Nickel Creek to start pilot plant testing

 

Last updated 5/11/2018 at 4:16am

Platinum, palladium copper, cobalt, nickel, mine development project, PGE, PGM

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp.

Nickel Shäw is a road-accessible nickel-copper-platinum group element project just south of the Alaska Highway in the Yukon.

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp. April 25 said the second phase of its metallurgical program on the Nickel Shäw (formerly Wellgreen) project in southwestern Yukon is advancing into mini pilot plant testing.

The company, previously known as Wellgreen Platinum, said the phase II metallurgical program is the most in-depth and comprehensive analytical undertaking that has ever been applied to Nickel Shäw.

This work, which began in September, initially focused on flowsheet optimization and batch scale testing to determine the viability of split concentrate production prior to advancing to the pilot plant testing.

Over the ensuing six months the metallurgical program has achieved numerous milestones that could lower the costs of processing the ore at Nickel Shäw, including using a coarser grind size and less reagents to recover the metals in concentrates.

The testing also shows the viability of creating two concentrates – nickel and copper.

"During 2017 we produced a quality, marketable bulk nickel-copper-platinum group metal concentrate. Prior to finalizing the mine plan, we decided to test the viability of separating the nickel and copper concentrates. Producing two separate concentrates is expected to result in enhanced economics for the project and provide us with requisite flexibility in marketing the concentrates," said Nickel Creek President and CEO Diane Garrett. "Our recently completed work has demonstrated that there are no barriers to the technical process of separating nickel and copper. We will now begin a mini pilot plant test program which enables the production of separate nickel and copper concentrates and quantifies the grades and recoveries of those concentrates. Precious metals (PGMs and gold) and cobalt will be measured in the concentrates."

Composite samples generated from the roughly 4,000 kilograms of material obtained from the 2017 drill program will be used as feed for the metallurgical pilot plant. The composites have been selected and blended to ensure they are representative of Nickel Shäw production material and were tested to validate grade, geological and spatial representivity of the deposit.

Nickel Creek expects to report on the results from the program early in the third quarter.

The company expects to be able to incorporate the results into a new mine plan and economic model to serve as a basis for a preliminary economic assessment for the nickel-copper-PGM project, which is expected to be published this fall.

"Over the past 18 months the company has focused on de-risking Nickel Shäw through a series of detailed and scientifically based studies including a new geologic model," said Garrett. "By the end of the current and final stage of metallurgical testwork, the company should be well positioned to continue moving the project up the value chain towards the goal of advancing the project to become Canada's next large-scale nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM sulfide producer."

Platinum Group Metals, copper, cobalt, nickel, PGE, PGM exploration map

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp.

Looking ahead, Nickel Creek is planning an exploration program to examine the endowment potential within the Nickel Shäw Project area. The current resource area spans roughly 2,200 meters of an 18,000-meter trend within the company's land package. The company said historical and current mapping, geophysics, and limited previous drilling provide it with confidence that additional mineralization beyond the known resource may be identified.

Following up on a mapping program completed last year, Nickel Creek plans to carry out a geophysical program this year to test several of the underexplored targets. This induced polarization survey aims to identify additional drill targets along the strike length of the system and determine whether the already large resource is part of an even larger, district-scale system.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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