The new total amounts to just over 1.58mln tonnes of contained nickel at average grades of 1.02% nickel equivalent. The new resource includes all 2017 drill results from the Ikenskoe/Sobolevsky (IKEN) and Kubuk deposits.
Kun-Manie is the largest undeveloped nickel sulphide project, located immediately adjacent to the three largest nickel consuming nations of China, Korea and Japan.
Based on a 0.4% cut-off grade, Kun-Manie now ranks third among the world's greenfield nickel sulphide deposits
All newly estimated resources identified by the 2017 drill programme are located within the IKEN and Kubuk deposits, and the 2017 drill programme successfully linked the two neighbouring deposits together forming the largest mineralised zone at Kun-Manie.
The updated and consolidated resource for these two deposits (89.5 million ore tonnes, 645,000 nickel tonnes and 178,000 copper tonnes) surpasses the Maly Kurumkon/ Flangovy deposit, formerly the company's largest deposit containing approximately 60.9 million ore tonnes, 472,000 nickel tonnes and 131,000 copper tonnes.
During the 2018 drill season, metallurgical drill sample collection and relevant test work will continue. This will allow Amur to refine the processing flowsheet to establish the capability of generating an additional copper concentrate (potentially allowing for streaming of a copper concentrate product) and the ability to identify the requirements necessary to generate a nickel sulphate product for direct sale into the EV battery market.
Boss highlights "substantial and material increase"
"The newly derived 2018 MRE represents a substantial and material increase of more than 50% from previously reported estimates of the Kun-Manie resource,” said Amur chief executive Robin Young.
In mid-morning trading, Amur Minerals’ shares were 17.8% higher at 5.45p.
In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital said: “We note that Amur is now attempting to position itself ‘as a ready source for EV battery market participation’.
“However, in our view, nickel developers with sulphide deposits such as Amur are not as directly connected to the EV battery market as those intending to produce sulphate or hydroxide products from laterite deposits.”
They added: “The likes of Amur will most likely have to produce and sell sulphide flotation concentrates to companies with matte smelters such as Norilsk.”
“Having surpassed key institutional bench marks of 1.0 million contained nickel tonnes and maintaining a plus 1.0% nickel equivalent grade, we shall be positioning the Company as a ready source for EV battery market participation. In addition, the significant resource increase will allow for us to identify institutional investors to work with and we will be undertaking an aggressive Asian marketing programme focused on China, Korea and Japan.”