Australian Mining Firm, Jervois Mining Limited has applied for a prospecting license over the Kabanga nickel-cobalt deposit in the Kagera region of Tanzania.
The company believes the sulphide deposit to be the highest quality undeveloped nickel-cobalt deposit in the world, unmatched in scale and grade.
As currently delineated, the JORC resource represents 57 million tonnes of easily floatable sulphide ore at 2.62% nickel, 0.20% cobalt and 0.35% copper, with significant regional exploration potential. Approximately two-thirds of this resource is in the measured and indicated categories.
The quality of the mineralization is exceptional, with low-risk sulphide metallurgy expected to produce a high-grade low impurity nickel-cobalt product.
Prior owners invested significantly in drilling and studies that culminated in a DFS envisaging annual production in excess of 50,000 tonnes of nickel with significant cobalt and copper co-products.
Kabanga’s scale of mineral resource, exploration upside and production potential place the province squarely among the great nickel-cobalt basins in the world, comparable to Thompson, Manitoba, Jinchuan and Voisey’s Bay.
Until January 2018, Kabanga was subject to a retention licence (RL), held jointly and equally by Glencore plc and Barrick Gold. On January 10, 2018, the Government of Tanzania published the Mining (Mineral Rights) Regulations, 2018.
Section 21 of those regulations cancelled all existing RLs and stipulated that rights over all areas which were the subject of such RLs reverted to the government. In May 2018, Jervois applied to the Mining Commission for a PL covering the ground held under the previous RL.
In support of its PL application, Jervois has put together a team of highly experienced mining executives and advisers who understand the nickel-cobalt business, have an established track record in financing, constructing and operating sophisticated nickel-cobalt mining and processing operations, and have extensive experience in Tanzania’s mining sector.
They include Peter Johnston, non-executive chairman of Jervois, who was global head of Glencore’s Nickel Assets and had executive responsibility for the Kabanga project in Tanzania when Glencore was operator of the joint venture.
Also included are Jervois CEO Bryce Crocker, who was a member of the Kabanga Nickel Advisory Committee when he was a senior executive with Xstrata plc and non-executive director Brian Kennedy, who advised Xstrata on the Kabanga project and has extensive experience in constructing and commissioning mining projects in Africa.
Jervois believes it can significantly improve on the DFS prepared by the previous owners of Kabanga. It also has the organisational capacity and drive to construct the project in an accelerated timeframe.
Due to their background and familiarity with the project, members of the Jervois team can immediately focus on updating the existing DFS and SEIA, with a view to early construction and generating enhanced economic returns from initial operations.
Jervois looks forward to working with the Government of Tanzania to establish a viable pathway to develop Kabanga.
The company will operate in full compliance with Tanzanian law, including the requirement to beneficiate concentrate from Kabanga in-country.
Jervois sees Kabanga as a new kind of mining and processing operation in Tanzania, with significant Tanzanian participation in partnership with the company.