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Australia

West Musgrave Project

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StageConstruction
Commodities
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Palladium
  • Platinum
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotWest Musgrave is set to be one of the world’s largest, lowest cost, lowest emissions copper-nickel projects.

A final investment decision was taken in September 2022 with construction commencing in the December 2022 quarter (prior to the acquisition of OZ Minerals by BHP). Initial project activities focused on the continued recruitment of project execution and operations readiness personnel, procurement of certain long-lead items, execution of key contracts and critical path on-site activities.

On July 11, 2024, BHP announces that the Nickel West operations and West Musgrave project (Western Australia Nickel) will be temporarily suspended from October 2024. BHP intends to review the decision to temporarily suspend Western Australia Nickel by February 2027.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnershipInvestor's Info
BHP Group Ltd. 100 % Indirect
BHP owns 100% of the West Musgrave Project, having acquired it as a part of OZ Minerals.

On May 2, 2023, BHP announced the completion of the OZ Minerals acquisition and implementation of the scheme of arrangement for BHP Lonsdale Investments Pty Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Group Limited, to acquire 100% of the shares in OZ Minerals Limited (OZL) (the Scheme). BHP Group Limited is now the ultimate parent company of OZL.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork

Summary:

The Nebo-Babel deposits are both hosted by a sub-horizontal, tube-shaped mafic intrusion which is classified as a gabbronorite. The mafic intrusion has a known extent of 5 kilometres, trends in an easterly direction, has a gentle 15 degree dip to the south and, in the case of Babel, a less than 10 degree plunge toward the southwest. Babel and Nebo are separated by the steeply-dipping, north-south trending Jameson Fault. Babel occurs to the west of the fault and Nebo occurs to the east.

Babel consists of three main lithostratigraphic units, which are variably textured leucogabbronorite (VLGN) that forms the outer shell around mineralised gabbronorite (MGN), and barren gabbronorite (BGN) in the core of the intrusion. At Nebo, the main lithostratigraphic units are VLGN that forms an outer shell of the intrusion around barren gabbronorite, and oxide-apatite gabbronorite, which occurs in the core of the intrusion at the eastern end.

The Nebo-Babel deposits contain two main styles of mineralisation: disseminated gabbronorite-hosted sulphides, which represent the bulk of the mineralisation, and massive and breccia sulphides, which are a comparatively minor component of the overall sulphide inventory.

Interpretation and wireframes have been constructed for lithology (including dykes), weathering and estimation grade domains. Mineralisation is intimately associated with the brecciated contact of the gabbronorite intrusive into the surrounding orthogneiss host rock and, although there is a strong, almost exclusive relationship between lithology and mineralisation, it was determined to construct estimation grade domains to optimise the estimation. At Nebo, ’high-grade’ domains were constructed to model Massive Sulphide zones where continuity could be interpreted between sections and drill holes. Weathering surfaces were constructed for Oxide (OX), Pyrite-Violarite (PV), Transitional (TR) and Primary (PR) zones.

Dimensions
The Nebo Mineral Resource is contained within an area defined by a strike length of 1,670 m and across-strike width of 1,500 m. Mineral Resources have been reported within a defined potentially economic pit shell that has a maximum depth of 230 m below surface.

The Babel Mineral Resource is contained within an area defined by a strike length of 2,440 m and across-strike width of 1,665 m. Mineral Resources have been reported within a defined potentially economic pit shell that has a maximum depth of 580 m below the surface.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual
Nickel t 27,000
Copper t 33,000
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual mining rate  ....  Subscribe
Annual processing capacity  ....  Subscribe
Stripping / waste ratio  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
C1 cash costs Nickel USD  ....  Subscribe
C1 cash costs Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Nickel USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

Currency2022
OP mining costs ($/t milled) AUD 10.3 *  
Processing costs ($/t milled) AUD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) AUD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) AUD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Pre-Production capital costs $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
Closure costs $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8.5% $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 31, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 31, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 31, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 31, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 31, 2023

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2022

Aerial view:

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