The Western Australian Government has given approval to the development of BHP’s Venus nickel mine in the northern Goldfields, near Leinster, which will feed the mined nickel sulphate to BHP’s Nickel West battery chemicals operations.
“This completes all necessary approvals required for the Venus deposit, and our team… has started developing access drives to the site.
“Continued drilling over the coming months will better define the resource. We expect first stoping production early next year,” BHP told Reuters through a statement.
The Venus deposit was first discovered in 2012 and it has approximately 200,000 tonnes of nickel reserves, which is set to be fed to BHP’s Leinster concentrator and mill for the next eight years.
BHP is also developing a nickel sulphate plant in Perth and it is expected to be operational beginning in April 2019. The plant is anticipated to have a production capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate, with about 22,000 tonnes of nickel to be produced.
BHP is planning to double the plant’s capacity in the future, with a potential Stage 2 project expansion.
The development of the Venus mine is expected to support up to 150 jobs during the construction phase and approximately 200 jobs once the mine is operational.
The Venus deposit is the first of three Leinster and Mt Keith projects to go underway. BHP is also set to develop the Mt Keith satellite deposits as well as the Leinster B-11 block cave to help boost production at Nickel West.
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