Nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and resource development company Amur Minerals Corporation said on Wednesday that its in-house C1 cost estimates per pound of nickel at its planned Kun-Manie nickel copper sulphide project would place it among the existing 10 lowest cost nickel industry producers.
The AIM-traded firm said that, based on its 16 April announcement, which reported Kun-Manie mining potential of 73 million ore tonnes, the life of mine C1 cost per pound of nickel was projected to range from $2.61 to $2.77.
"We are pleased to provide projections of the C1 fully loaded direct operating costs for our two primary production options which include toll smelting or our building and operating of a low grade matte facility to process our concentrate," said CEO Robin Young.
"Comparison of these newly defined costs indicates that Kun-Manie could be a low cost competitor within the nickel industry ranking in the lowest 10 producers by cost and, potentially , even as low as fourth.
"Ranging from $5,750 to $6,100 per nickel tonne, we are well below the CRU projected average production cost of $10,000 per tonne as at April 2017."
Young said the newly-defined C1 cost projections included all projected operating costs and operational considerations from the mine face to the sale of a final product.
"These costs also take into account mine dilution, metallurgical recoveries at the mine and smelters, truck and rail freight and more.
"We have also included the Russian Far East reduced tax and royalty incentives which further reduce our total production cost per nickel unit, whether a pound or a tonne."
Additionally, Young said looking at how the company ranked among the greenfield and brownfield projects, the board noted that there were around 10 projects that contained more than Amur's 1.2 million tonne nickel resource.
"Of these, only two have higher grades of ore than our average of 0.75% nickel.
"Interestingly, the remaining six have average grades below what we use as a cutoff grade which is 0.4% nickel.
"As such, we feel well positioned in the new emerging nickel demanding Electronic Vehicle market."