Belvedere Resources (TSE:BEL) said Thursday that it has converted part of the Indicated Resources of the planned open pit expansion into Probable Reserves.
The planned cutback into the edge of the existing open pit has now been optimised to a depth of 115 metres, resulting in an in-pit Probable Reserve of 1.02 million tonnes at 0.38% nickel, containing 3,876 tonnes (8.5 million pounds) of nickel metal.
In addition to the in-pit reserves, there remains a further 1.6 million tonnes at 0.42% nickelin the Indicated Resource category,
both below the proposed pit extents (115 to 150 metre depth) and in the western mineralised area (0 to 150 metre depth) next to the planned pit.
These additional resources contain 6,737 tonnes (14.8 million pounds) of nickel metal.
"The open pit cutback is the first of a number of initiatives the company is investigating, to increase throughput and lower operating costs at the Hitura mine," Belvedere's chief executive David Pym said.
"The new reserves in the open pit, will potentially add about 2 years to the mine life at Hitura and the mineralisation is open at
depth below the open pit adding further underground mining potential."
The Hitura nickel mine has NI 43-101 compliant Measured & Indicated resource, reported at a 0.54% nickel cut-off (and 0.3% nickel cut-off for the open pit extension) of 3.03 million tonnes of 0.55% nickel, 0.18% copper and 2.21% silicon. The Inferred mineral resource was 490,000 tonnes of 0.7% nickel, 0.3% copper and 4.5% silicon.
Belvedere Resources has a primary focus on nickel, gold, cobalt and copper in Finland. The company currently produces 2,500 tonnes of nickel in concentrate/year from the Hitura nickel mine. The company has a number of advanced gold projects in close proximity to Hitura.