Australia

Flying Fox Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Nickel
Mining Method
  • Longhole open stoping
  • Avoca
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
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SnapshotThe Flying Fox underground mine remains one of the highest grade nickel mines in the world. Production commenced in 2006, and the mine now operates at depths of over 1km underground.
Related AssetForrestania Operation

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
IGO Ltd. 100 % Indirect
On 20 June 2022, IGO Limited acquired 100% of the issued capital of Western Areas Limited. Western Areas was an ASX listed Australian-based mining and exploration company with a portfolio of operating and development stage mines. It owns a 100% interest in the Forrestania Operation (consisting of the Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll underground mines and the Cosmic Boy processing facility) and the Cosmos Project, both located in Western Australia, together with a substantial exploration portfolio.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • VMS

Summary:

Forrestania’s camp of nickel sulphide deposits is hosted by a sequence of ~2.9Ga meta-igneous and metasedimentary rocks that are part of the Forrestania Greenstone Belt (FGB) of the Youanmi Terrane of the Eastern Yilgarn Craton.

Forrestania’s nickel deposits is the ‘Kambalda-style’ Type 1 and Type 2 models where nickel sulphides are interpreted to have accumulated in channelised komatiitic lava flows. Many of Forrestania’s deposits are often tectonically displaced from the original depositional locations and have been deformed and/or dismembered by one or more local and/or regional post-depositional tectonic events.

The main deposit type is the komatiite hosted, disseminated to massive nickel sulphide deposits, which include the Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll deposits. The mineralisation occurs in association with the basal section of high MgO cumulate ultramafic rocks.

The greenstone succession in the district also hosts several orogenic lode gold deposits, of which the Bounty Gold Mine is the largest example.

Flying Fox is hosted by a package of deformed metavolcanics and metasediments that have been intruded by granites. Locally, the geology comprises a strongly foliated succession of komatiites intercalated with metasediments, both of which are typical of the FGB’s Lower Sequence.

Post the primary deposition of the sulphide mineralisation in lava channels, one or more tectonic events have dismembered Flying Fox’s originally continuous sulphide body into 11 separate lenses and these events have also modified the texture and composition of the original massive sulphide mineralisation. Up to six local phases of deformation have been identified, with the third phase of reverse faulting being responsible for the sulphide body segmentation, which in some areas has separated lenses by up ~300m in a horizontal sense. Hydrothermal fluids related to metamorphism and deformation have modified the original sulphides and added pyrite to the sulphide assemblage, as well as locally elevated arsenic concentrations.

Flying Fox’s mineralisation lenses of predominantly massive sulphides are named T0 through to T7. Depending on geometry, the lenses can contain from ~0.2 to 0.5Mt of resources and average lense grades vary from ~5% Ni to as high as ~9% Ni. The lenses have strike lengths of up to ~400m, down dip extents of up to ~200m, and thicknesses varying from 0.1m to 10m. Based on current drilling, the deepest lense, T7, extends to at least ~1.3km below surface. Disseminated sulphide mineralisation, sometimes grading up to 1.5% Ni, is found in the ultramafic host unit above the massive sulphides, and in low-grade halos around the margins to the north, south and up dip of individual lenses.

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

CommodityUnits20212020201920182017
Nickel kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe9.81010
All production numbers are expressed as metal in ore.

Operational metrics

Metrics20212020201920182017
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe231,607 t260,665 t237,119 t

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 20, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 20, 2023

Aerial view:

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