Ardea Resources and a consortium made up of Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) have reached an agreement regarding the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP) – Goongarrie Hub Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), ahead of a Final Investment Decision (FID). 

Despite some of the recent challenges in the Australian nickel sector leading to mine closures and project suspensions, Ardea acknowledged the increased State and Federal Government support through initiatives – such as nickel being added to the Australian Critical Minerals list.

The KNP Goongarrie Hub 2023 DFS defined direct cash cost after cobalt byproducts of USD$5,763/t nickel in mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) over life-of-mine which provides a significant cash margin at current nickel prices. With this context in mind, Ardea considers the timing to complete the DFS and develop the project as ideal.

Ardea’s Managing Director and CEO, Andrew Penkethman, said that it is pleasing to see nickel added to the Australian Critical Minerals list and the nickel sector receiving State and Federal government support.

“This initiative reiterates that Australia and key ally nations remain focussed on supply chain diversity and security, with planning for the KNP Goongarrie Hub taking into account the high ESG standards expected by modern democratic society,” Mr Penkethman said. 

“With the long-term fundamentals for nickel remaining strong, Ardea and the consortium continue their proactive engagement and collaboration which has helped facilitate significant progress in finalising the KNP Goongarrie Hub DFS scope of work and budget.

“Commercial discussions are continuing as a priority. Key considerations being covered include DFS funding, through to securing project development capital to enable project construction and achieve steady state nickel-cobalt production, from within the best resources operating jurisdiction in the world.

“Ardea and the consortium look forward to executing final agreements, and commencing the DFS.”

Ardea and the Consortium will continue discussions to agree on binding final agreements, aiming to be finalised and executed by 31 March 2024.

Upon execution of final agreements, future work will be aimed at completing the DFS, making a FID and securing project development funding for the Goongarrie Hub to become a globally significant producer of nickel-cobalt.

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