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Independently-estimated nickel costs show huge margins on offer for Amur Minerals

Independent cost estimates show that operating margins at Kun-Manie could be substantial

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Kun-Manie is one of the few remaining significant nickel sulphide projects in the world

Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) has revealed the results of independently calculated cost estimates for its Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulphide project in the Russian Far East.

Consulant RPMGlobal Asia Limited used a first principles approach to estimate the costs of open pit and underground mining, processing, all other site related costs and the cost of concentrate transport to the Ulak rail station.

All told, these estimates have been used by Amur to derive a projected average operating cost for Kun-Manie of US$1.78 per pound of nickel delivered to the Ulak station.  

WATCH: Amur Minerals 'set well for project financing' as resource expansion drilling continues

 

The RPM results are based on Q2 2017 costs and quotes presently in place and/or available to Amur's wholly owned local subsidiary. 

The average cost per pound of nickel delivered in concentrate form to the Ulak station does not presently include consideration of smelter terms, recoveries, charges, payable terms and royalties. 

These have been specifically excluded until mining tonnages and grades are established based on the RPM costs and trade off studies can be implemented with regard to off-take agreement terms and a company-owned treatment facility at Ulak. 

Completion of these studies will allow for the reporting of C1 industry standard costs.

Even so, at today's nickel price of approximately US$4.00 per pound (US$8,816 per tonne), the nickel-only break even cut-off grades are projected to vary from 0.29% to 0.39% nickel only.

That dovetails nicely with the current mineral reserve estimate at Kin-Manie, which is based on a cut-off of 0.4% nickel, and equates to 610,000 nickel tonnes). 

Existing inferred resources that require infill drilling will similarly be available at a nickel grade of 0.78% upon successful infill confirmation.

 

 

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