Centaurus Metals Limited (ASX: CTM) is an Australian-based minerals exploration company focused on the near-term development of the Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project, located in the world-class Carajás Mineral Province in Northern Brazil – one of the world’s premier mining addresses.
Centaurus completed its acquisition of the Jaguar Project from global mining giant, Vale S.A, in April 2020, delivering the Company with an exceptional exploration, growth and development opportunity in the international nickel sulphide sector.
Following completion of the acquisition, Centaurus immediately commenced a major drilling program, and has since defined a global Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) totalling 58.9Mt grading 0.96% Ni for 562,600t of contained nickel. View full Resource statement.
Importantly, more than 80% of the contained nickel in the Global MRE is located within 200m of surface, indicating strong potential for open pit mining.
Centaurus completed a positive independent Base Case Scoping Study for the Jaguar Project development in March 2021, establishing a strong foundation for a significant new global nickel sulphide project. The Base Case Scoping Study was based on open pit and underground mining over an initial 10-year mine life, delivering nickel sulphide feed to a 2.7Mtpa conventional nickel flotation plant to produce approximately 20,000 tonnes of recovered nickel metal per year at a low life-of-mine (LOM) C1 operating cost of ~US$2.41/lb.
At a conservative life-of-mine nickel price of US$7.50/lb, the base case project delivered a post-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of ~A$604 million.
In addition to the Base Case, Centaurus is also evaluating a “Value-Add” development scenario for Jaguar, which contemplates processing the nickel concentrate using a hydrometallurgical process (POx) to produce battery-grade nickel sulphate for the growing electrification supply chain.
Centaurus completed a Value-Add Scoping Study in May 2021 based on a 2.7Mtpa nickel sulphate plant, delivering production of +20,000tpa of recovered nickel-in-sulphate and +9,600tpa of a mixed sulphide precipitate (MSP) over an initial 13-year mine life.
Using the same life-of-mine nickel price of US$7.50/lb, the Value Add development scenario increases the Jaguar Project’s post-tax NPV by more than 80 per cent to ~A$1.1 billion.
The results of the Value-Add Scoping Study provide the Company with a high level of confidence that the production of a nickel sulphate product on site at Jaguar is a highly viable option and one that should be aggressively pursued. The results have also allowed the Centaurus Board to commit to proceeding directly to a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the production of +20,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulphate at the Jaguar Project over an initial mine life of ~13 years. The DFS by its very nature will also incorporate the study of the production of nickel concentrate, as this will be the product feed to the hydrometallurgical (nickel sulphate) circuit.
In parallel with the completion of the DFS, Centaurus is also continuing a major drilling effort at Jaguar aimed at extending the existing Resource base and making new discoveries. Up to eight drill rigs are currently on site, with ~65,000m of drilling planned to be completed by the end of the year.
Centaurus also holds the development-ready Jambreiro Iron Ore Project, where a July 2019 Pre-Feasibility Study confirmed low costs and strong economics for a 1Mtpa iron ore mining operation.