SMM9, March 22 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet /-- BHP Billiton released its annual report for fiscal 2020 on Sept. 14, the company said it would continue to press ahead with exploration plans for oil, copper and nickel, increasing the early selectivity of nickel through the acquisition of the Honeymoon Well mining right in Western Australia. The guidance for nickel production in fiscal year 2021 is 85-95kt.
BHP Billiton said nickel prices were driven by macroeconomic mood swings, which also affected other base metals. In the long run, we believe that nickel will be the main beneficiary of the global electrification trend, and nickel sulphide will be particularly attractive given that the production cost of category 1 nickel suitable for batteries is relatively low compared to laterite. Our assessment of the possible growth rate of electric vehicles and the chemical properties of the batteries that support them supports this view.
Average realized price:
The company said it increased the early availability of nickel, expanded its business scope, increased reserves and opened new mines in Nickel West through the acquisition of Honeymoon Well properties. In June 2020, BHP agreed to buy Honeymoon Well, and acquire a 50 per cent stake in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration joint venture. BHP is currently 50 per cent shareholder in Albion Downs North and Jericho Joint Ventures.
The combined concession package is located in the Goldfields region of northern Western Australia, about 50km from the Mt Keith mine and 100km from the Leinster concentrator. The completion of the agreement depends on many conditions, including approval by the government and third parties.
Over the years, after successfully completing its brownfield exploration plan at Nickel West, the company increased its estimated ore reserves (containing nickel) by more than 90 per cent to 1740 kt in fiscal year 2017-2020.
Olympic Dam and Nickel West sustainably increase production and returns. Where for Nickel West
For example, estimated ore reserves have increased by more than 90 per cent since fiscal year 2017; major project maintenance and transition to Venus and Yakabindie mines have been completed; and the undercutting of BHP Billiton's first massive cave development project, B11, will be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 21. The acquisition of future, Honeymoon Well is under way, and 5000 m exploration and drilling of Seahorse will be carried out in fiscal year 2021.
Nickel ore reserves have increased significantly:
Total ore reserves of Nickel West for fiscal year 2011 to 2020 (on a 100% basis)
Nickel West is expected to complete the construction of the nickel sulfate plant at the Kwinana nickel refinery in the first half of fiscal year 2021 (H2 2020), with the first batch of products completed in the second half of fiscal year 2021. This phase is expected to produce about 100 ktpa of nickel sulfate.
Due to a major quadrennial maintenance shutdown at the Kwinana refinery and Kalgoorlie smelter and routine maintenance at the concentrator, West West's nickel production fell by 8 per cent to 80 kt in fiscal year 2020.
Nickel West map and factory scene: