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Mincor Resources had a busy March quarter at the Kambalda nickel operations which bodes well for the company’s continued comeback in 2022, according to managing director David Southam.

When Mincor completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Kambalda operations in March 2020, the nickel price was hovering between $18,000–$20,000 per tonne and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to worry miners across Australia.

Now, following first ore haulage and first nickel from Mincor’s Cassini nickel mine near Kambalda, Western Australia, Southam said the timing was perfect for Mincor to capitalise.

“While the recent ‘short squeeze’ which drove the LME nickel price to over $US100,000 per tonne in March has grabbed headlines around the world, the nickel price has in fact been trending in an upward direction for some time given surging global EV battery demand and diminishing stockpiles,” he said.

“While a degree of volatility will always be characteristic of the nickel sector, the underlying forces driving the market bode well for the long term.”

The nickel price currently sits just above $45,000 per tonne – more than double that forecast by Mincor’s DFS in March 2020, allowing the company to progress the Kambalda operations with renewed confidence.

Besides hauling first ore to BHP’s Kambalda nickel concentrator being a major milestone for Mincor, the March quarter also saw exploration success at the Golden mile deposit.

Southam said this was yet another opportunity for Mincor to reap the benefits of an inflated nickel price.

“The definition of what appears to be a new large and high-grade mineralised surface in such close proximity to our existing mining operations at Long and Durkin North represents an outstanding opportunity for Mincor to drive growth and mine-life extensions from this high-grade nickel address, at a time when high-quality nickel sulphides are in incredibly high demand and short supply,” Southam said.