Sally to stick with underground
Sally Malay and its open pit contractor, Roche Mining, cited...
NICKEL miner Sally Malay Mining has achieved record nickel production but scrapped the idea of re-starting open pit operations following the pit wall collapse at its namesake mine in Western Australia.Sally Malay and its open pit contractor, Roche Mining, cited safety reasons for the decision to access the remaining 100,000 tonnes of ore in the base of the pit from underground, with rescheduling of the mine plan reportedly well advanced. Up to 600 tonnes of material slipped down the North East wall partially burying a haul truck on New Years day.On the production front, the December quarter saw nickel output of 2368 tonnes, up from 2003t in the September quarter. Sally Malay said the month of December was its best ever production wise, producing 848t of contained nickel.The company said nickel recoveries at the Sally Malay operation were now consistently above 85% - 10% above design – and are expected to move closer to 90%.In addition, the company said monthly throughput had been as high as 75,000t, indicating the plant's capacity could be as high as 900,000tpa – 20% above the design of 750,000tpa. Elsewhere, Sally Malay said the Lanfranchi project ramp up continued on track with 21,238t at 2.51% nickel mined and installation of the paste plant complete, with wet commissioning pegged to start at the end of the month.
The company said mining engineers are re-considering stope designs and mining methods at Helmut South with the view to increasing scheduled production rates in light of the expected availability of paste from February.Shares in Sally Malay, which had $19.3 million banked at the end of the quarter, hit a 52 week high of $1.12 in March before slipping to a 52-week low of 61c in November. The stock was up 2c (2.5%) to 82.5c in morning trade