Collerina

The Collerina nickel-cobalt project is located 40 kilometres south of Nyngan in central NSW, covering an area of 300 square kilometres within the Fifield Platinum Province. The tenement contains the Homeville nickel-cobalt deposit, which was discovered by Collerina Cobalt Limited in 2008.

The JORC complaint resource estimate for Homeville is 16.3 million tonnes at 0.93% nickel and 0.05% cobalt (cut-off 0.7% nickel).

The total resource is estimated to contain approximately 151,000 tonnes of nickel and 8,100 tonnes of cobalt.

The mineralisation is at surface in some areas and has an average depth of only 10 metres below surface.

Based on a cut-off of 0.7% nickel, the resource estimate includes a total of 4.4 million tonnes at 0.99% nickel and 0.06% cobalt as Indicated Resource and 11.9 million tonnes at 0.91% nickel and 0.05% cobalt as Inferred Resource. 

Saprolitic and limonitic host mineralisation has also been estimated with 14.3 million tonnes, or nearly 88% of the resource, as saprolite (based on a cut-off of 0.7% nickel). Focus for further metallurgical studies will be concentrated on the saprolitic domain.

Confidence Million Tonnes Nickel Cut-off (%) Nickel (%) Cobalt (%) Iron (%) Magnesium (%)
  27.2 0.5 0.80 0.05 19 9.8
Total 16.3 0.7 0.93 0.05 19 9.3
  4.9 1.0 1.18 0.05 18 8.6
  6.4 0.5 0.87 0.06 21 9.6
Indicated 4.4 0.7 0.99 0.06 20 8.8
  1.8 1.0 1.21 0.05 19 7.9
  20.7 0.5 0.78 0.05 18 9.9
Inferred 11.9 0.7 0.91 0.05 18 9.4
  3.1 1.0 1.16 0.05 17 8.8
Homeville nickel-cobalt deposit resource summary by JORC category.
Confidence Million Tonnes Nickel Cut-off (%) Nickel (%) Cobalt (%) Iron (%) Magnesium (%)
  5.2 0.5 0.69 0.08 27 0.2
Limonitic 2.0 0.7 0.84 0.10 30 1.4
  0.2 1.0 1.14 0.12 33 1.9
  21.9 0.5 0.83 0.04 17 10.3
Saprolitic 14.3 0.7 0.95 0.04 17 10.4
  4.7 1.0 1.18 0.04 17 10.2
Homeville nickel-cobalt deposit resource summary by host type.

 

The Collerina project contains several additional advanced prospects including Yathella (nickel-cobalt), Swanson’s Trouble (gold), C1 (scandium, platinum nickel-cobalt) Widgelands (copper) and the Collerina Mine (copper).

Under the terms of an  agreement exploration and development agreement signed in January 2014, Helix Resources Limited (‘Helix’) secured the sole right to explore the tenement for precious and base metal mineralisation. Helix holds 100% of the precious and base metal rights (excluding Nickel Laterite mineralisation), with Collerina Cobalt Limited retaining a 1.5% net smelter royalty over any discoveries by Helix. Collerina Cobalt Limited retains 100% ownership of the known nickel laterite mineralisation within the Homeville, Yethella and C1 Anomaly areas. 

Testwork

An estimated 40 shallow drill hole program is planned at the Collerina nickel-cobalt project to further define this resource which remains open at depth and along strike.

Counter-current atmospheric leaching testwork undertaken by the Company on Collerina ore has returned overall nickel recoveries of 90% and cobalt recoveries of 96% with very low overall acid consumption of 710 kg/tonne ore.

To further advance this testwork, the Company will further evaluate the Cobalt Manganese Nickel Direct SX Technology (CMN) which separates cobalt and nickel, to produce a high purity cobalt carbonate, cobalt sulphate or cobalt metal product and nickel cathodes.

Another opportunity that has been identified is the potential to recover about 1/3 of the aluminium in the ore as a high purity alumina (HPA) product.  This would generate revenue exceeding the combined value of nickel and cobalt.  This further testwork would involve counter-current atmospheric leaching or pressure leaching with sulphuric acid, followed by iron precipitation and forwarding of samples for solvent extraction testwork by Canopean Pty Ltd for the CMN process.

An alternative process option is the Direct Nickel nitric acid technology which has not been previously tested by the Company.  The advantages this technology for an inland site are chiefly logistics.  More than 90% of the nitric acid is regenerated in the process, minimising acid make-up, and the same process produces magnesia, MgO, from the magnesium contained in the ore which is subsequently used for all of the process pH control steps, eliminating the need for purchased limestone and lime.  A variation of the CMN technology can be combined with the Direct Nickel nitric acid technology to separate cobalt from nickel.  Recovery of aluminium as HPA is also possible with this process.

Based on the Collerina project’s high grade and low stripping ratio, excellent leach characteristics and recoveries when compared to other Australian laterite projects and access to infrastructure and logistics the Company aims to advance the project to a scoping study stage during 2017.

Tenement Update

Collerina Cobalt Limited successfully applied for a 3 year extension for all 50 sub-blocks associated with the project’s EL 6336.  The 3 year extension is timely and allows the project’s potential to be further explored and optimised by improving the current resource base, the commencement of conceptual mine planning, further optimisation of metallurgical testwork, process plant location options and mine infrastructure layout.