Carried out by previous explorers, all drilling work in the mine estimates the mineral resource to be 222,710t of nickel sulphide ore with a grade of 2% Ni.

Pioneer has identified three priority areas that warrant further exploration, with each having drilling records displaying the presence of nickel sulphide mineralization.

Pioneer Resources managing director David Crook said the initial mineral resource provides the company an excellent basis from which to grow.

”The Company is aware that a number of commodity forecasters are predicting an improvement to the nickel price within the next few years, and Pioneer is looking to develop a robust production scenario, and therefore be ideally leveraged for a return to higher nickel prices,” Crook added.

In addition, Pioneer has identified a multitude of potential opportunities, including down-plunge extension to the mineral resource, as well as a number of near mine exploration targets along the base of the ultramafic host-rock contact.

The company believes use of surface drilling, modern down-hole EM and ground EM surveys will help in identification of further potential economic mineralization.

Commissioned by WMC Resources in the 1989 to 1990, the project was sold to McMahons Mining in 1999, who operated the underground project until it ceased in 2002.

In 2003, the project was then sold to Australian Mines, who operated it until 2008 when it ceased production due to another fall in the nickel price.