The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012
REGENCY Mines’ chairman Andrew Bell has told Proactive Investors that he is set to announce coming developments in Mambare, Northern province, which may become one of the world’s largest nickel projects.
However, Bell said that a weakening in market conditions meant potential partners of sufficient scale to take on such a large project remain in a defensive phase and were not really looking for new nickel projects.
The Mambare project has come a long way since Regency first explored in 2007.
Indeed, with a 162 million tonne resource being established from nothing to a great deal of value has been created – though Bell reckons the project will ultimately be much larger.
“Proving up that resource is a great achievement,” he said.
“And since the resource comes largely from two of 80sqkm at the top of the plateau, the upside is significant.
“Right now, Mambare has 1.4 million tonnes of contained nickel, but I believe it could contain as much as 10 million tonnes.“It is a truly massive project.
“Once in operation, the mine would last for generations.
“We’ve now done enough work at Mambare to prove what we’ve got. The next stage of serious exploration would expand the resource and probably involve in-fill drilling.
“At each stage the cost scales up; that programme would be far more costly than anything done up to now.
“That is why we are carrying out a value engineering stud … it is also the reason why we, as a company, should look at our early stage project pipeline where we can get a big bang with a new discovery for low bucks.”
While the emphasis was mainly on building a resource inventory at Mambare, Regency has also invested in a new technology, which could potentially revolutionise the way nickel is extracted from the clay-like laterite material found at Mambare.