Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) has received outstanding new results from ongoing resource growth and development drilling at its 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in the Carajás Mineral Province of northern Brazil.
The results are expected to underpin further resource growth ahead of the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and maiden Ore Reserve estimate due for completion by the end of calendar 2022.
The results from the current 14-rig drilling programme will be incorporated in the next major Mineral Resource update for the Jaguar Project, which is scheduled for Q3 2022.
Centaurus’ Managing Director, Darren Gordon, who is in Brazil for his first visit to site and with the in-country team since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the company was continuing to make outstanding progress with the exploration and development of the Jaguar Project.
“It’s been two years since I’ve been able to get to site and I am really proud of the way our Brazilian team has managed the last few years,” he said.
“They have built outstanding project infrastructure and have been able to keep the rigs turning and our team safe and healthy during trying times, while also consistently delivering outstanding results.
“The Jaguar Project, as currently scoped, already underpins a long-life mine with class-leading ESG credentials that will deliver +20,000 tonnes of nickel-in-sulphate for the battery metal market over an initial 13-year mine life.
“However, if we continue to deliver step-out results like the 8.0m at 5.38% Ni at Jaguar South and 30.7m at 1.00% Ni at Onça Preta, our shareholders should expect further resource and production growth as the company advances the Definitive Feasibility Study and development activities at Jaguar.
“The current spike in nickel price serves as a timely reminder of just how tight the market is for higher purity Class1 nickel. As global stockpiles have diminished, significant new discoveries have become rarer and major new projects have been slow to come online.
“And while we expect the market will likely settle down, the backdrop is still conducive to further gains – especially towards the middle of this decade when demand from the EV sector really ramps up. That’s when a long-life project like Jaguar, with a Tier-1 resource currently estimated to contain over 730,000 tonnes of nickel metal, will really come into its own.”
The Jaguar South Deposit is the largest deposit at the Jaguar Project, hosting an MRE of 27.6Mt at 0.93% Ni for more than 257kt of contained nickel, including an Indicated component of 13.9Mt at 1.01% Ni for 140kt of contained nickel.
The base of the December 2021 MRE continues to be constrained by the depth of drilling and ongoing step-out drilling continues to confirm that the mineralisation remains open at depth and along the +800m strike in both directions.
The current base of the deposit has now been extended well below the base of the underground operations identified in the May 2021 Jaguar Project Scoping Study, which was already restricted by the base of the March 2021 MRE.
Any new resource tonnes generated by step-out drilling are expected to contribute to the underground operations as part of the DFS.
Ongoing step-out drilling has continued below previously defined resource limits to test new DHEM conductors and down-dip extensions of the high-grade mineralisation within the main mineralised zones.
Drilling on Section 478390mE, one of the easternmost sections at Jaguar South, has intersected 9.9m at 1.22% Ni from 420m and 8.0m at 5.38% Ni from 442m in drill-hole JAG-22-21-233. This intersection is over 100m below the previous deepest drilling on that section and mineralisation remains open at depth.
The intersection correlates extremely well with the DHEM conductor plate. Drill-hole JAG-DD-21-223, the deepest intersection at Jaguar South, is located 90m west of JAG-DD-21-233 and this hole also intersected mineralisation more than 100m below the previous deepest drilling, returning 14.4m at 1.50% Ni from 502.6m, including 4.4m at 3.41% Ni.
In parallel to the step-out drilling, the company is focused on resource development in-fill drilling to bring all potential mine inventory into the Indicated and Measured resource categories ahead of the next resource upgrade, scheduled for Q3 2022.
This upgrade in resource category is important as it will underpin the maiden Ore Reserve estimate. In-fill drilling to date has been successful in confirming the December 2021 Mineral Resource model. Drill-hole JAGDD-21-240 is a good example of this, with the hole returning intersections of 16.0m at 1.50% Ni and 16.7m at 1.78% Ni within the current Resource interpretation. For further information please visit: https://www.centaurus.com.au/