GME Resources Limited (ASX: GME) released the quarterly report on its 100%-owned NiWest Nickel-Cobalt Project in Western Australia. As the company revealed that there had been a significant reduction in the nickel and cobalt prices quoted on London Metal Exchange, GME stock price fell straight by 7.368% to trade at $0.088 on 21 January 2019 (1:11 PM AEST).
The report read that the cobalt’s market price on LME declined by approximately 12% to US$54,500 per tonne during the quarter ended 31 December 2018. And the Nickel’s quoted price has decreased by about 15% to US$10,612 per tonne during the quarter. LME nickel inventories fell by around 21kt over the quarter to finish at approximately 208kt.
On activities front, the company conducted a preliminary assessment of value engineering opportunities delivered through the Pre-Feasibility Study on NiWest. During the quarter, it also started the ongoing environmental baseline studies which are focused on the critical path activities at the proposed Mt Kilkenny mining/processing plant and Hepi mining areas. This study is reported to be completed by June quarter 2019.
NiWest Project is an undeveloped, high-grade nickel-cobalt project located in the North Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. In the PFS released in September 2018 quarter, GME Resources confirmed the head graded averages of 0.07% cobalt and 1.05% nickel at NiWest for the initial 15 years. Its initial operating life at a nameplate processing capacity of 2.4Mtpa is estimated to 27 years with projected steady-state cobalt and nickel recoveries of 85% and 79% respectively. It outlines the opportunity to extend high-grade profile through potential conversion of Inferred Resources and or inclusion of other known deposits.
On the production front, the study estimated Nickel’s total production to be 456kt and cobalt 31.4kt with average annual production of 19.2kt nickel and 1.4kt cobalt over the first 15 years. Average cash unit operating cost has been projected to US$3.24/lb contained nickel.
Moreover, the company has been in discussion with potential strategic partners or offtake parties during the December 2018 quarter. This process is ongoing and targeted at a comprehensive and robust assessment of the broad range of potential ownership, development and funding structures are currently available to GME Resources and the NiWest Project. The company intends to continue these discussions before commencing a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the NiWest Project. GME further plans to undertake a preliminary review of the mining schedule and recent column leach testing over coming months.
As at 31 December 2018, GME Resources had cash and cash equivalents of A$587,000 following a receipt of an A$707,000 R&D refund in the December quarter. The updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the NiWest Project is reportedly 85.2Mt at 1.03% Ni and 0.065% cobalt.
The company has entered in an agreement to divest the Devon gold project and related tenements for A$100,000 and 1% royalty. The transaction was settled in January 2019.
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