A high quality, long-life, nickel sulphide asset
The Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Mine, located in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia is a sulphide rich nickel, copper and cobalt orebody, hosted by the layered mafic-ultramafic Savannah Intrusion.
Operations at Savannah recommenced in 2021 following a rigorous technical and commercial assessment. The mine has an initial 12-year life with significant opportunity to extend through in mine and surface exploration.
Mining is largely focused on the Savannah North deposit with some operations also continuing in the original Savannah deposit.
Underground mining is conducted by leading underground mining contractor Barminco using mechanised, top-down long-hole open stoping and paste backfill methods. Tele-remote mining is being used to improve efficiency and safety outcomes.
The process plant comprises a conventional single stage crusher, SAG mill, flotation, thickening and filtering stages to produce a bulk nickel, copper, cobalt concentrate. The plant was originally designed for a throughput of 750,000 tonnes per annum, but consistently outperforms the design specifications with rates exceeding 1 million tonnes on an annualised basis.
Since mining operations began, more than $150 million has been invested in mining, processing and site infrastructure including the underground mine, processing plant, a paste fill plant, a 180-room accommodation village, workshops, office buildings, tailings, water storage facilities, concentrate storage facilities and other associated infrastructure.
Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Mine history
Mining at Savannah originally commenced in 2004 following the discovery of the Savannah orebody. An open pit was mined for the first 18 months before mining transitioned underground. Operations continued until 2015 when lower nickel prices forced the closure of the operation.
The Savannah North deposit was discovered in 2015 with a maiden Mineral Resource established later that year.
Following further resource upgrades and technical studies, a decision to restart the operation at Savannah and extend underground workings to Savannah North was made in 2018. First shipment occurred in early 2019.
Operations were suspended in April 2020 amidst the ongoing impact of the global pandemic and the falling nickel price.
The mine had produced more than 180,000t of nickel, 60,000t of copper and 5,000t of cobalt to this point in time.
An extensive technical and economic assessment of the project was completed which included a revised Mineral Resource and Mine Plan. The Panoramic Board approved a new restart plan for Savannah in April 2021 after the completion of several pre-commissioning work programs.
The operation was successfully brought online in 2021 with the first shipment of concentrate leaving the Wyndham Port in December 2021.