Amur Minerals Corp. expects exclusively open pit mining at its Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulfide project in Russia to generate EBITDA of US$1.61 billion, up 36% from the previous estimate of US$1.18 billion in March 2015.
The four open pits will produce 77 million tonnes of ore averaging 0.73% nickel for 564,100 tonnes and 0.20% copper for 151,500 tonnes. The deposits also contain recoverable byproduct cobalt at 0.02%, platinum at 0.17 g/t and palladium at 0.15 g/t.
Amur is working on an updated pre-feasibility study for Kun-Manie. The company reported a 45.6% increase in nickel-copper resources in February, while in July, an independent review outlined a decrease in operating costs to US$24/tonne of ore.
The open pit development scenario assumes toll smelting of sulfide concentrates, according to an Oct. 18 release.
The company noted that the EBITDA estimate is based on a nickel price of US$7.27/lb, with no additional value from the other metals.
Mining consultant RPM Global is also evaluating an underground mine design for the Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy deposit using long hole open stoping methods.
Amur said a combined open pit and underground operation at Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy would likely increase EBITDA and the assessment is nearing completion.
The company also noted that recent drill results at the Kubuk and Ikenskoe/Sobolevsky deposits were not included in the current assessment, with final analysis pending.
"The current results are encouraging and we note that the outcome of these results exclude all of the newly discovered ore from this year's drill program where we may have doubled the resource at both Ikenskoe/Sobolevsky and Kubuk and identified a near continuous zone of mineralization along the 3-kilometer-long zone linking the two deposits together," CEO Robin Young said.