Reports 50% Increase In JORC Mineral Resource To 58.6Mt
Centaurus Metals (ASX:CTM) has taken another important step towards becoming a significant global nickel sulphide developer with the announcement of an updated JORC 2012 Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 58.6Mt at 0.95% Ni for 557,800 tonnes of contained nickel for its 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in the Carajás Mineral Province of northern Brazil.
The MRE update includes a 50% increase to the Indicated component of the Resource, which now sits at 19.9Mt grading 1.12% Ni for 223,400 tonnesof contained nickel, with this Indicated component now representing 40% of the Global MRE.
Managing Director, Darren Gordon, said that significantly, the grade of the Indicated component is almost 20% higher than the global MRE grade, demonstrating the quality of this higher geological confidence mineralisation to support early payback in any future mining operation at Jaguar.
He added that more than 80% of the contained nickel in the Global MRE is located within 200m of surface. These near-surface, high-grade resources have the potential to fall within open pit optimisation and mine plans that will underpin the Jaguar Scoping Study, which is set for completion this quarter.
Mr Gordon said the company had achieved or exceeded all of the key objectives of its in-fill drilling program over the past six months, with the interim Mineral Resource update delivering a substantial increase in higher-confidence Indicated Resources to underpin the upcoming Scoping Study.
“In addition to achieving our primary goal of upgrading the Indicated Resource by 50%, which has significantly de-risked the Project ahead of the upcoming Scoping Study, we have also achieved a further increase in the global MRE,” he said.
“This reinforces the quality of the Jaguar Project as a globally significant, near-surface nickel sulphide deposit with outstanding potential for continued growth. It is also a fitting reward for the efforts of our exploration team, who have done a great job in advancing our drill programs over the past six months.
“Importantly, around 80% of the contained nickel tonnes are less than 200m from surface and we expect that pit optimisation and mine planning work will show that Jaguar has outstanding potential to be a low strip ratio, long life, open pit operation with strong economics, putting us in a great position to deliver on our aspiration to be a clean and efficient 20,000-plus tonne per annum nickel producer by the end of 2024.
“One of the other key messages for investors is that this is far from the end of the story in terms of the growth of our Resource inventory.
“We are continuing a major drilling effort with four rigs on site and further rigs to be added next quarter. Additional rigs will allow more step-out, extensional and greenfields drilling along with further resource development in-fill drilling, which has been the focus of the last six months.
“As we drill deeper and test more down-hole EM conductors – which have been very useful in identifying high- grade mineralisation to date – we expect to find further high-grade nickel mineralisation.
“We look forward to replicating the sort of widths and grades of mineralisation seen in the recent result from the Jaguar Central drill hole, JAG-DD-20-104, which intersected 30.8m @ 3.3% Ni with 12.1m @ 5.38% Ni, on a more regular basis as we drill deeper, as well as making new discoveries through our greenfields drilling.”
The Jaguar Central and Jaguar South deposits are likely to deliver the bulk of the mine plan in the early years of any future operation and it is these deposits that are expected to underpin the Jaguar Scoping Study, which is on track for completion in March 2021.
The Jaguar and Onça Deposits are unique in the nickel sulphide sector as the high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation comes to surface and remains open at depth. More than 80% of the contained nickel in the Global MRE is within 200m of surface, demonstrating the strong open pittable potential of the Project.