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Freda Rebecca

Bindura Nickel Corp (BNC)

Full name:
Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC)
Mwana interest:
Mwana Africa holds a 75.4% interest in BNC. BNC has been listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange since 1971.
Assets and operations:
The company owns and operates the Shangani and Trojan nickel mines, which have hoisting and treatment capacity of 1.0Mt and 1.1Mt a year respectively.
Shangani remains on care and maintenance. BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
BNC also owns the Bindura Smelter and Refinery complex which is being re-opened to produce high quality nickel cathodes, copper sulphide and cobalt hydroxide. Alongside material from the Trojan and Shangani mines, the plant has toll treated nickel concentrates and nickel matte from third parties to utilise spare capacity. Current smelter capacity is 17,000tpa and for the refinery 14,500tpa. Construction of an oxygen injection plant was completed in 2008.
BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
BNC’s mines, smelter and refinery were placed on care and maintenance in 2008 and remained so until the conclusion of BNC’s rights issue and restructuring in September 2012 when mining restarted at the Trojan nickel mine.
The restart involved the refurbishment of the handling facilities for the surface milling flotation, tailings and concentrate. The cold commissioning of the electrical and mechanical circuits of the feed conveyors, mills, flotation circuits, concentrate handling and tailings handling was completed in January 2013 by passing water through the processing plant circuits.
The hot commissioning, with the introduction of ore into the milling circuit, commenced shortly afterwards.Progress on surface was matched by a successful ramp up of underground operations. In April 2013, BNC sold its first shipment of nickel concentrate since the restart to Glencore, BNC’s offtake partner.
As a result of depressed nickel prices, additional financing to fund full ramp up was not secured. BNC began reviewing options to resolve this cash shortfall including considering alternative mine plans at Trojan and seeking bridging finance.
During Q1 of FY2014, the Trojan mine plan was revised to target the higher-grade zones of the orebody, known as ‘massives’, with the aim of reducing the cost per tonne of nickel produced. The impact of this was already being seen in the first six months, witha drop in cash costs from $19,251/t in Q1 to $9,689/t in Q2.
In October 2013, a competent person’s review of BNC’s business plan for Trojan’s operations concluded that the plan was realistic and achievable. This enabled BNC to update its ore reserves statement to total proven and probable reserves of 3.168Mt at an average grade of 1.04% for 32,975t of contained nickel. This denotes a 28% increase on the previously reported Trojan reserves of 25,810t of contained nickel.
Work has commenced on the Trojan shaft re-deepening project which had been suspended while the mine was on care and maintenance. The re-deepening will extend the operating horizon of Trojan from 35 level to 45 level and secure the life of mine of the Trojan asset.
Trojan mine is making continued progress towards steadystate processing of 195,000t per quarter and the increase in tonnes milled indicates more consistent, efficient operation of the mills.

BNC Trojan mine production results for FY2014:

    Total Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
Tonnes mined (t) 595,656 161,964 159,600 158,694 115,398
Tonnes milled (t) 589,637 153,451 133,221 154,552 148,413
Nickel head grade % 1.382 1.621 1.730 1.597 0.652
Recovery (%) 86.2 88.8 87.5 88.6 70.7
Ni in concentrate (t) 7,026 2,207 2,016 2,117 686
Nickel sales (t) 7,129 2,250 2,651 1,505 723
Average nickel price ($/t) 14,298 14,075 13,870 13,787 15,460
Cash cost (C1) ($/t) 11,567 11,333 11,181 9,689 19,251
All-in sustaining cost (C3) ($/t) 12,462 12,220 11,819 10,390 21,521

Competent Person’s Report on Trojan Nickel Mine (PDF - 3.8MB)
Prepared by SRK Consulting (UK) Limited
September 2013

Reserves and Resources

Bindura Nickel Corporation - Reserves
Classification of Reserves Tonnage (‘000t) Grade (%) Nickel (t)
Trojan 1,908 0.707 13,485
Hunter's Road
Trojan 1,002 1.37 13,721
Hunter's Road
Total 2.91 0.93 2.26
Bindura Nickel Corporation - Resources
Classification of Resources Tonnage (000t) Grade (%) Nickel (t)
Trojan 2,358 1.07 25,185
Shangani 1,840 0.58 10,750
Hunter's Road
Total 4,198 0.85 35,935
Trojan 1,507 1.41 21,883
Shangani 480 0.59 2,840
Hunter's Road 36,437 0.55 200,404
Total 38,424 0.58 225,127
Inferred Resources
Trojan 3,755 1.69 63,407
Shangani 9,710 0.56 54,280
Hunter's Road
Total 13,465 0.87 117,687
  • The effective date for the Trojan resource statement is June 2013, and, the effective date for the Shangani resource statement is August 2008.
  • The effective date for the Hunter’s Road resource estimate is May 2006. The JORC compliant Hunter’s Road resource of 36,437kt is found in the West Ore body of Hunter’s Road and includes 2,377kt of resource which forms part of a 30m cap of oxide ore mineralisation. In addition, in 1993, an Anglo American MinRED estimate showed 11,000kt grading 0.48% Ni approximately 600m east of the West Ore body of Hunter’s Road which is not included in the resource shown above.