African Eagle Resources has awarded the contract for an economic scoping study of the Dutwa nickel laterite project in Tanzania to Australia based GRD-Minproc. It will be an order of magnitude scoping study to assess the economic viability of the project and to investigate the optimum way to develop it.
Mark Parker, managing director of African Eagle Resources says, “An important early outcome of the study will be a recommendation on the next phase of metallurgical test work. Given the deposit’s straightforward metallurgy and low acid consumption, recently determined by Mintek Laboratories, we believe that either heap or tank acid leaching at atmospheric pressure is likely to offer the most cost-effective extraction, allowing capital costs to be kept to a minimum.”
The selection of GRD-Minproc as contractor was made following a review of a number of high quality proposals from the most well recognised companies in the field.
GRD Minproc has extensive experience in the nickel laterite industry and in recent years has undertaken more nickel laterite projects and studies than any other contractor or consultant.
The Dutwa project area, composed of several prospecting licences covering a total area of about 750 km², lies in the Kilimafedha belt of the Lake Victoria goldfield. African Eagle acquired the Dutwa project for its gold potential, but its exploration team quickly recognised that there was significant nickel laterite potential. In November 2008, African Eagle announced an initial inferred resource estimate of 31 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.1% nickel and 0.034% cobalt. At a cut-off grade of 0.5% nickel, this gives Dutwa a contained metal endowment of some 340,000 tonnes of nickel and 11,000 tonnes of cobalt.
Mineralogical investigations carried out by Mintek show that the laterite is extremely silica-rich, with low iron and magnesium content, indicating that Dutwa is not a typical laterite nickel deposit. Mintek believes that much of the nickel and cobalt occurs in wad with manganese content of 20-60%, nickel content of up to 20% and cobalt content of up to 10%.
The results of the scoping study will be available in mid- June 2009.