Nova Project

Ownership

IGO 100%

Location

The Nova Project is located in the Fraser Range, approximately 120km east of Norseman and 220km south west of Kalgoorlie, with the project 38km north of the Eyre Highway.

The Ngadju People are the traditional owners of the land.

Background and History

The Nova discovery hold was drilled in July 2012.  A maiden resource was released some 12 months later in May 2013. In February 2013, the nearby Bollinger Deposit was discovered.
 
The current JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resource is 14.3Mt 2.3% Ni, 0.9% Cu an 0.08% Co.

A Definitive Feasibility Study was completed in July 2014 in which a maiden Ore Reserve for the project was declared.  The Mineral Resource estimate comprised 14.3Mt grading 2.3% nickel, 0.9% copper and 0.08% cobalt for a contained 325,000t of nickel, 134,000t of copper and 11,000t of cobalt.   The Ore Reserve estimate comprises 13.1Mt grading 2.1% nickel, 0.9% copper and 0.07% cobalt for a contained 273,000t of nickel, 112,000t of copper and 9,000t of cobalt.
  
In August 2014, the Nova Mining Agreement was entered into with the Ngadju People, designed to deliver a variety of economic, education, vocational and cultural initiatives.  Shortly thereafter the Nova Mining Lease was granted by the Western Australian Department of Minerals and Petroleum.
 
Development at Nova commenced on 26 January 2015 and IGO acquired the Nova Project in September 2015 through the acquisition of Sirius Resources NL.

In December 2015, the Nova Project Optimisation Study was released advising of a significant value up-lift for the Nova Project.

In July 2016, IGO advised it was accelerating development of the Bollinger orebody to unlock significant additional value.

Note: Go to the ASX Announcements section under Investors to read about these key milestones in more detail.
 

Geology

The Nova – Bollinger magmatic nickel-copper deposits are hosted within the lower granulite facies mafic rocks of the Fraser Zone of the Albany-Fraser Orogen.  The Fraser Zone is dominated by metamorphosed mafic rocks but also includes metamorphosed granitic and sedimentary rocks termed the Fraser Range Domain.  Much of the northern part of the Fraser Range Domain is obscured by younger rocks of the Eucla Basin, however it is interpreted that this domain is approximately 425km long, northeast trending, fault-bounded domain that is up to 50km wide.
 
The host rocks of the Nova-Bollinger deposit consist of a suite of meta-gabbroic to meta-picrite cumulates which have been metamorphosed to a high metamorphic grade. These units are interpreted to have been emplaced as a layered sill in an extensional sedimentary basis. The deposit is situated on the north-western side of an eye-like structural feature which is best seen in regional and ground magnetics.
 
The nickel-copper mineralisation is interpreted to have formed initially as a typical magmatic segregation Ni-Cu deposit.  The sulphide assemblage of the ore mineralogy consists of pyrrhotite (~80-85%), pentlandite (~10-15%) and chalcopyrite (5-10%). This style of deposit has many features in common with various aspects of Canadian deposits such as Thompson, Raglan  and Voisey’s Bay.

 

Nova Project orebody
Nova Project orebody
 

Project Development

As at June 2016, the overal Project was 93% complete and was on schedule and on budget to produce first nickel and copper concentrates by December 2016 as planned.

The Nova Project is based on a designed 1.5Mtpa underground operation with decline access, 1.5Mtpa processing plant and associated infrastructure and services.
 
The principal stoping methods will be sub-level open stoping  with paste fill to maximise extraction of the orebody.  The stopes will measure up to 25 metres by 25 metres horizontally and 70 metres in height.
 
The processing plant will comprise conventional crushing, grinding by open circuit SAG mil followed by a ball mill in closed circuit, and sulphide flotation to produce separate copper and nickel concentrates.
 
Power for the site will be generated from an onsite 16 megawatt predominantly diesel-fire power station with solar substitution.
 

Exploration

IGO has a significant tenement package along the prospective Fraser Range/ Tropicana belt.
 

This belt contains two of Australia’s most significant recent discoveries being Tropicana and Nova.  A number of these projects include:

  • Fraser Range (100% IGO):  IGO holds a 100% interest in various tenements covering 306km2 in the Fraser Range, including the mining lease containing the Nova Project.  Within this tenement package, there are a number of near mine targets that require testing.

Nova Project Mining Lease tenure
Nova Project Mining Lease tenure

  • Fraser Range Joint Ventures (70% IGO):  The joint venture covers an area of 895km2 and includes over 100km of strike length of the prospective Fraser Range / Tropicana belt. Exploration remains at an early stage is testing a number of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation targets, including the Crux-Centauri area, located approximately  60km southwest of Nova.  Drilling to-date has intersected the presence of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation associated with anomalous zones of nickel and copper at shallow levels.
  • Salt Creek Joint Venture (70% IGO):  An extensive tenement package on the eastern flank of the Tropicana JV.  The area is located proximal to the Tropicana/Fraser Range domain boundaries considered prospective for nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation.  A number of prospects are being tested with both reconnaissance drilling and ground electromagnetic.  Results to-date have been encouraging. 

Nova Project and Fraser Range joint venture tenure
Nova Project and Fraser Range joint venture tenure