Mallee Resources has achieved production of its first nickel concentrate at its wholly-owned Avebury nickel sulphide project in western Tasmania, Australia following the start of commissioning of the processing plant.

According to the mineral exploration company, 58,500 tonnes of ore have been processed, and 2,045 tonnes of nickel concentrate have been produced at Avebury.

Around 19,200 tonnes of ore were at the run of mine stockpile, with a further 2,500 tonnes on the fine ore stockpile, stated Mallee Resources.

Mallee Resources managing director John Lamb said: “This is a historic moment for Mallee which now joins the ranks of Australian nickel sulphide producers. The Avebury mine is distinguished within this peer group by having a majority of its power needs met by renewable energy sources.”

The nickel concentrate from the Avebury nickel sulphide project in is transferred to Burnie from where it will be shipped to customers of the company’s offtake partner, Hartree Metals.

The shipments are expected to begin once enough concentrate has been stockpiled.

Mallee Resources chairman Jeff Moore said: “Commissioning began on schedule and has gone very well to date. Our team has been equal to any challenge presented and we now have now produced concentrate. Mallee’s future looks very bright.”

According to the ASX-listed mining company, efforts are being made to maximise recoveries and concentrate grades in accordance with Avebury’s commissioning plans, and the concentrate that is currently in storage will be mixed with future concentrates before being shipped.

The Avebury project is said to have mineral resources of 29.3Mt at 0.9% Ni, an underground mine, and a 900,000 tonne per annum processing plant and mine infrastructure. Mallee Resources got the ownership of Avebury and its related assets this year via a company administration process.