Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply

LONDON Stock Exchange-listed junior Regency Mines is eyeing Papua New Guinea tenements to provide a possible source of nickel following the Indonesian supply disruptions.
Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply Regency eyes PNG for nickel supply

The company's annual report noted the rise in the nickel price in the early part of the year, caused by the Indonesian export ban.

Regency said it believed it would see the beginnings of long-term investments in nickel production assets in 2015 as well opportunities to attract investment for joint exploration of the company's flagship Mambare lateritic nickel project in PNG.

The junior has a joint venture with Direct Nickel, in which each company holds 50% of Oro Nickel (Vanuatu) Ltd, the 100% holder of EL1390. The project is licensed to use Direct Nickel's nickel laterite treatment process.

During 2014, Regency also applied for an additional nickel laterite project in PNG, a 1284 square kilometre area.

The project has a historic (non-compliant) inferred resource of 70Mt at 0.68% Ni (grades up to 1.68%) and considerable potential for resource expansion.

"With the [EL1390] licence being just 15km from the coast and 75km from the major port city of Lae, the potential for direct shipping ore of nickel is being reviewed and is desirable to parties that have been affected by the Indonesian supply disruptions," the company said in the report.

"Joint-venture efforts are currently focused on examining options to take Mambare forward to maximise its potential, including discussions with possible project partners.

"EL1390 could potentially hold one of the world's largest nickel laterite deposits and only 3% of the plateau (the main target) has been drill tested to date.

"Substantial investment will be required in order to fully explore the licence and establish the true size of the resource, and a partnership investment would make this possible.

"The project is licenced to apply Direct Nickel's revolutionary nickel laterite treatment process, the pairing of massive scale and low-cost processing makes a highly compelling value proposition to investors."


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