Magna plans to drill at Denison nickel-copper project after ‘considerable’ resource estimate
Denison’s indicated mineral resources for underground and surface mines total more than 31 million tonnes, Magna said. The total contained metal is 500 million pounds of nickel, 450 million pounds of copper and 1.7 million ounces. platinum, palladium and gold, he said.
“The Denison project has considerable remaining mineralization and has the potential to once again become a significant producing mine,” Magna managing director Jason Jessup said in a press release. “We plan to begin our first exploration program at Crean Hill and commission a new technical study to demonstrate potential synergies between Crean Hill and Shakespeare.”
The indicated mineral resources of the open pit mine are 16.8 million tonnes grading 0.53% nickel, 0.49% copper and 0.02% cobalt for 1.08% nickel equivalent. It also contains 0.48 grams of platinum, 0.37 grams of palladium and 0.25 grams of gold per tonne, the company said.
Underground Indicated Mineral Resources are 14.5 million tonnes at 0.56% nickel, 0.84% copper and 0.03% cobalt for 2.07% nickel equivalent. It also contains 0.88 grams of platinum, 1.02 grams of palladium and 0.54 grams of gold per ton.
Magna and other project developers and explorers are taking advantage of new techniques and growing demand for the metals needed for the global transition to trillion-dollar clean energy to make former producing mines profitable again. Nickel, copper and platinum group metals are important for the manufacture of many types of new technologies such as electric vehicle batteries, cell phones and wind turbines.
Paul Fowler, Magna’s senior vice president, said the Denison project could rival FNX Mining’s discoveries in the Sudbury Basin nearly two decades ago.
“There remains a lot of exploration potential in the footwall area where we will resume drilling immediately,” Fowler said by email. “There are a lot of high-quality historic shots in the wall with phenomenal long intersections.”
Magna acquired Denison with the C$16 million purchase of Lonmin Canada in August. Denison operated as Crean Hill for Inco for approximately 80 years in three periods from 1906 to 2002. Vale (NYSE:VALE) managed the site in a joint venture with Lonmin before closing the mine in 2017.
The Shakespeare Project, 37 km west of Denison, is also home to a former nickel-copper-platinum group metal mine. It has an indicated resource of 20.3 million tonnes grading 0.33% nickel, 0.36% copper, 0.32 grams of platinum per tonne, 0.35 grams of palladium and 0.19 grams of gold . Magna has permits to build a 4,500 tonne per day plant and restart surface mining at Shakespeare.
“The proximity to our other project, the Shakespeare mine and mill licensed site, means this asset is a natural asset to our business and gives us a unique advantage in the exploration and development of Crean Hill” , said CEO Jessup.