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Centaurus Metals (ASX:CTM) - Managing Director, Darren Gordon - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Darren Gordon
Source: The West Australian
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  • Centaurus Metals (CTM) is progressing its scoping study and pre-development activities for its Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in Brazil
  • Leading nickel sulphide engineering groups, Entech and DRA Global, have been contracted to complete the scoping study
  • The study is part of Centaurus' strategy of becoming a clean nickel producer by the end of 2024 to meet the growing demand for key battery metals
  • Centaurus is also preparing to convert Jaguar's inferred resources to indicated before the end of this year
  • To support this, three rigs are currently operating on double shifts with another two expected to arrive on-site shortly
  • Company shares are trading flat at 48 cents

Centaurus Metals (CTM) has provided an update on a scoping study and pre-development activities for its Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in northern Brazil.

The company has engaged leading nickel sulphide engineering groups, Entech and DRA Global, to complete the scoping study alongside Centaurus' in-house technical team.

Entech is responsible for mine planning and geotechnical components of the scoping study, with a focus on evaluating the potential open pit and underground operations.

DRA Global is responsible for engineering, compilation and the final delivery of the scoping study.

The aim of the scoping study is to demonstrate that Centaurus is well-placed to deliver on its goal of being a clean and efficient 20,000-tonne per annum nickel producer by the end of 2024. This will assist in the global transition to clean energy and meet the growing demand for key battery metals.

Metallurgical test work that has already been completed has consistently shown a quality nickel concentrate grading 16 per cent at a recovery of over 80 per cent using a conventional flotation process.

Additionally, Centaurus is investigating value-adding opportunities, including the conversion of the concentrate to a high-quality nickel sulphate or nickel metal product.

Nickel sulphate and nickel metal boast several advantages, including a much higher payability value, higher metal recoveries, reduced trucking and shipping volumes, and a lower environmental impact.

The scoping study is supported by Jaguar's maiden JORC 2012 mineral resource estimate of 48 million tonnes at 1.08 per cent nickel for 517,500 tonnes. This includes a higher-grade component of 20.6 million tonnes at 1.56 per cent nickel for 321,400 tonnes of contained nickel metal.

A drilling program is underway at the Jaguar Project and is aimed at converting inferred resources to indicated. The company is hoping to upgrade the resource before the end of this year.

While three diamond rigs are already operating on double shifts, a reverse circulation and fourth diamond rig are expected to arrive on-site shortly to conduct step-out drilling. Further, mapping, soil sampling and fixed-loop electromagnetic surveys are underway.

"Having a long-term source of clean and efficient nickel has never been more valuable as there are just not that many opportunities globally to access a large, high-quality nickel sulphide resource, like the Jaguar Project," Managing Director Darren Gordon said.

"The company remains confident that a large portion of the resource will support open pit mining operations and, when combined with the company’s ability to access low cost hydro generated power in Brazil, the overall operating costs for the project should compare very favourably with other nickel projects globally," Darren added.

Centaurus is also progressing the environmental approval process and is aiming to submit its environmental impact assessment document by the June quarter of 2021.

Company shares are trading flat at 48 cents at 10:28 am AEST.

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