Australia

Nickel West Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Sub-level caving
  • Block caving
  • Bench stoping
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotNickel West is a fully integrated nickel business located in Western Australia, with three streams of concentrate. It comprises open-cut and underground mines, concentrators, a smelter and refinery.

Disseminated sulphide ore is mined at the Mt Keith open-pit operation and Mt Keith Satellite mine (Yakabindie) and crushed and processed on-site to produce nickel concentrate. Nickel sulphide ore is mined at the Cliffs and Leinster underground mines and processed through a concentrator and dryer at Leinster. A concentrator plant in Kambalda processes ore and concentrate purchased from third parties.
Related AssetsCliffs Mine, Leinster Mine, Mt Keith Mine, Venus Mine

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnershipInvestor's Info
BHP Group Ltd. 100 % Indirect
Nickel West (BHP ownership: 100 per cent) is a fully integrated nickel business located in Western Australia.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Intrusion related
  • Metamorphic

Summary:

Mt Keith
Disseminated textured magmatic nickel-sulphide mineralisation associated with a metamorphosed ultramafic intrusion.

The stratigraphy in the Mt Keith region is composed of ultramafic sequences (olivine cumulates and thin spinifex textured flows), basalts, volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks and sedimentary rocks The ultramafic sequence at Mt Keith is lenticular It faces W, dips 80- 85, and has undergone low- to mid-greenschist metamorphism The major komatiitic rock types include sulphide-bearing olivine mesocumulate, olivine orthocumulate, talc-carbonate altered orthocumulates and a porphyry olivine rock The non sulphide mineralogy consists of hydrated Mg silicates (Iizardite, antigorite, chrysotile, talc), Mg oxy carboxyl hydroxides (brucite, stichtite, pyroaurite, iowaite), spinels (chromite, magnetite), carbonates (magnesite, dolomite), tremolite-actinolite and chlorite The disseminated sulphide mineralogy is dominated by pentlandite, with minor millerite, viola rite and pyrrhotite Trace amounts of pyrite, chalcopyrite, heazlewoodite, gersdorffite, polydymite, tochilinite, sphalerite and exsolved Co sulphides are also present.

Leinster
Steeply dipping disseminated and massive textured nickel-sulphide mineralisation associated with metamorphosed ultramafic lava flows and intrusions.

BHP Billiton’s Leinster Nickel Operation (LNO) is located 600 km north-east of Perth in the Eastern Goldfields Region of Western Australia. The LNO deposits are situated within the Wiluna Greenstone Belt and the orebodies are hosted in Komatite Ultramafic lava flows.

Cliffs
Steeply dipping massive textured nickel-sulphide mineralisation associated with metamorphosed ultramafic lava flows.

In the Cliffs section, the Cliffs Ultramafic Unit has a total thickness of up to *420 m: the upper unit, which comprises a series of stacked spinifex-textured flows, can be up to *200 m thick, and the peridotite base generally attains similar thicknesses. The discrete flows making up the upper unit display a typical range of spinifex textures, from fine random to coarse plate, which correlate with the A–B komatiite zonation described by Pyke et al. (1973). Conversely, the lower cumulate unit contains both orthocumulate and mesocumulate textural zones, and is dominated by mesocumulate texture. Pseudomorphed olivine occurs as both equant and elongated crystals and is typically in the range 2–10 mm long, although in areas the long axis of crystals can reach 2 cm. Bimodal crystal size distributions occur in places and have a population of elongated crystals up to 2 cm-long set in a matrix of finer (2– 10 mm) former olivine grains. Typically, the elongated crystals display a shape-preferred orientation, with their long axis parallel to the flow top. Thin (up to *10 cm thick) horizons of skeletal and hopper olivine crystals, ranging in size from 8 mm to 1.5 cm, occur sporadically in the lower peridotite unit. The coarse mesocumulate grades into a finer orthocumulate along strike from Cliffs as the Cliffs Ultramafic Unit thins to *180 m northward.

The Cliffs Ni deposit is located along the basal contact of the Cliffs Ultramafic Unit (lower peridotite), and is developed along a strike extent of *800 m. Typically, the mineralised zone comprises a basal massive Fe–Ni–Cu sulfide zone, overlain by matrix and stringer sulfide, and a final upper zone of disseminated sulfides. The basal massive sulfide horizon varies in thickness along its strike length from *5 cm to *9 m (Rosengren 2004). Local thickenings are inferred to represent structural remobilisation related to heterogeneous strain. The primary sulfide assemblage comprises pyrrhotite pentlandite–chalcopyrite–pyrite (Grguric et al. 2006).

Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Nickel kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe8793858190
Cobalt t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe8991,060
All production numbers are expressed as payable metal. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1,193   1,300   952  
Operating Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 91   215   -43  
EBIT M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
EBITDA M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 102   291   44  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 19, 2023
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....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 19, 2023
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Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2021

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