More nickel, cobalt in Turnagain deposit
North of 60 Mining News – September 13, 2019
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 5:42am
Giga Metals Corp. Sept. 19 announced expanded resources and improved grades at its Turnagain nickel project in northern British Columbia.
Incorporating the 36 infill holes drilled in 2018, Turnagain now hosts 1.07 billion metric tons of measured and indicated resource averaging 0.22 percent (5.21 billion pounds) nickel and 0.13 percent (312.4 million lb) cobalt.
This is a 24 percent increase in measured and indicated tonnage compared to the last resource calculated in conjunction with a 2011 preliminary economic assessment for Turnagin. Nickel grades also increased by 3.5 percent and cobalt grades remained unchanged.
In addition to upgrades to measured and indicated resources, which have the potential to be upgraded to reserves with the completion of a prefeasibility or feasibility study, the lower confidence inferred resource at Turnagain was expanded.
The deposit now hosts 1.14 billion metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.217 percent (5.47 billion lb) nickel and 0.13 percent (327.3 million lb) cobalt.
This is a 17 percent increase in inferred tonnage compared to the 2011 calculation. Nickel grades in the inferred category increased by 8.7 percent and cobalt grades remained unchanged.
"The updated mineral resource estimate for the Turnagain project represents an important milestone in the path towards advancing the engineering studies of this project," said Giga Metals President and CEO Mark Jarvis. "The successful execution of a focused drilling campaign combined with updated geological modeling has resulted in a refined and enhanced mineral resource estimate that, within the first three phases of mining outlined in the 2011 PEA, has confidence levels sufficient to support a pre-feasibility study and ultimately a feasibility study if that is justified."
The PEA considered a conventional open-pit mine at Turnagain that would produce an average of 53 million lb of nickel and 2.8 million lb of cobalt annually over the first five years of production; and 98 million lb of nickel and 5.4 million lb of cobalt annually during years six through 21.
The PEA, however, is now eight years old. The increased measured and indicated resource and a better understanding of metallurgy, as well as changing nickel and cobalt markets, will likely influence the design of a mine considered in a future prefeasibility study for Turnagain.