(Cassini 30%, OZ Minerals Ltd 70%)
The West Musgrave Project (WMP) is a new mining camp with three existing nickel and copper sulphide deposits and a number of other significant regional exploration targets already identified. The WMP is the largest undeveloped nickel-copper deposit in Australia.
The West Musgrave Project is located in a geologically exciting and relatively underexplored region of Western Australia that is highly prospective for nickel-copper-PGE sulphide deposits and gold. The project area was first subjected to modern exploration by BHP Billiton in the mid 1990’s, which culminated in the discoveries of the Nebo and Babel (Nebo-Babel) nickel and copper sulphide (Ni, Cu) deposits in 2000, and later, the Succoth copper (Cu) deposit in 2013.
Cassini Resources acquired the WMP from BHP Billiton in 2014, and has since progressed the project by conducting regional exploration, in-fill drilling and further geological interpretation of new and historical data to key projects within the mineral rich province.
The Company confirmed the economic viability of the Nebo-Babel deposits by a positive study released in April 2015, with further optimisation results released in April 2016.
In October 2016 Cassini Resources Limited executed a Joint Venture Agreement with leading Australian resources company OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) to fast track development of the project
Under the agreement, OZL earned the right to farm-in to the West Musgrave Project by sole funding a minimum $36 million of staged development and exploration expenditure, for a 70% interest in the WMP. The agreement included a minimum $28m funding for continued studies on Nebo-Babel to progress it to a “Decision to Mine”, as well as a minimum regional exploration spend of $8 million to assist in identifying additional value adding opportunities.
OZL has since spent over A$36 million on the West Musgrave JV Project to earn its 70% interest.
A Scoping Study released in November 2017, examining the project scale options and management of technical risk, delivered positive economics for a large, low cost mine. Nebo-Babel proceeding to a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) managed by OZ Minerals.
Results of the Nebo-Babel PFS for the West Musgrave JV Project were released by OZL in February 2020. The PFS demonstrating the strategic value of the project confirming excellent economics on a long life ~26 year, low operating cost, low carbon, open pit copper and nickel sulphide mine. The project significantly de-risked by detailed metallurgical test-work and resource definition work packages.
Following drilling throughout 2019 of over 170,000m a Maiden Probable Ore Reserve of 220Mt at 0.36% Cu and 0.33% Ni was declared, representing ~22 years of the ~26 year life of mine (LOM) demonstrated in the PFS (balance of the mine life underpinned by a combination of Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource). The PFS considers a modern mine development driven by innovation in mining, processing and power generation.
OZ Minerals will continue to sole fund the Nebo-Babel Studies until completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) and a decision to mine is delivered. In respect of any amount funded by OZ Minerals in excess of $36M, CZI will be loan-carried for its 30% contribution, with principal and capitalised interest to be repaid 5 years after the commencement of production.
The study does not incorporate the Succoth Copper deposit and exploration prospects within the broader Joint Venture project. Other opportunities exist within the West Musgrave Province to add value over time with continued exploration and development activities. The Joint Venture recently expanded the project footprint to over 9,500km2 offering enormous potential in this underexplored province.