Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project (JNP) is located in the Brazilian state of Pará. The planned project hosts multiple nickel sulphide deposits and exploration targets within a 30km2 area.
JNP is owned by Aliança Mineração, a Brazilian subsidiary of Centaurus Metals. The company acquired the Jaguar project from the Brazilian mining company Vale S.A in April 2020.
Jaguar December 2021 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) comprises 80.6Mt @ 0.91% Ni for 730,700 tonnes of contained nickel, making it one of the largest nickel sulphide resources held by an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company.
In March 2021, Centaurus completed a positive independent Base Case Scoping Study for the project. A Value-Add Scoping Study of JNP was finished in May 2021.
The Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) of the project is expected to complete in the middle of 2023, with the Final Investment Decision (FID) targeted for late 2023.
The construction phase will run in 2024/25 and first production is expected in late 2025.
The Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project is situated in the São Félix do Xingú municipality in the western portion of the Carajás Mineral Province, which has one of the largest known concentrations of large tonnage Iron oxide copper gold ore (IOCG) deposits in the world.
Belém, the capital of Pará State, is around 640k away from the site.
The site is located at the intersection of the WSW-trending Canaã Fault and the ENE-trending McCandless Fault. The deposit is of hydrothermal origin.
Geology and mineralisation
The mineralised bodies of the Jaguar project are hosted within sheared sub-volcanic porphyritic dacites of the Serra Arqueada Greenstone belt, adjacent to the boundary with tonalite intrusive into the Xingu basement gneiss. The deposits are hosted within a subvertical mylonite zone trending EW.
Two types of nickel sulphide mineralisation are found in Jaguar deposit. The mineralisation differ in modal sulphide composition and structure, while sulphide assemblages are similar in both ore types.
According to the project scoping study, more than 500,000 tonnes of the nickel metal in the initial MRE was within 200m of the surface. This indicated the potentiality of open pit mining operations at the site.
The JORC MRE for the Jaguar project considers the six deposits namely Jaguar South, Jaguar Central, Jaguar North, Jaguar Northeast, Jaguar West, and Jaguar Central North Deposits.
Jaguar March 2021 JORC is Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 58.9 million tonnes at 0.96% Ni for 562,600 tonnes of contained nickel.
In July 2022, Centaurus Metals announced drill results from a resource growth and development drilling campaign at Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project.
According to drilling results, the Jaguar South Deposit is the largest deposit at the project, hosting an MRE of 27.6Mt at 0.93% Ni for more than 257kt of contained nickel, including an Indicated component of 13.9Mt at 1.01% Ni for 140kt of contained nickel.
The Jaguar Central Deposit is the second largest deposit hosting an MRE of 12.1Mt at 0.90% Ni for more than 109kt of contained nickel, including an Indicated component of 10.2Mt at 0.92% Ni for 94kt of contained nickel.
Mining Operations and infrastructure
According to the Value-Add Scoping Study, the JNP is proposed to be established as a conventional open pit, and from the fourth year, underground mining operations will commence to supply 2.7Mtpa of ore to a nickel sulphide flotation plant and hydrometallurgical circuit for approximately 13 years.
The project also envisages the construction of a nickel sulphate plant featuring conventional nickel sulphide flotation plant and hydrometallurgical circuit to process up to 2.7Mtpa of ore.
The facilities will deliver a high purity nickel sulphate and MSP by-product that will contain zinc, cobalt, nickel and copper.
Other works will include addition of non-processing infrastructure; a tailings storage facility (TSF) that is integrated within the mined waste (IWL); upgrading around 40km of access road from Tucumã to the site; and a power line from the Tucumã sub-station to the site.
Centaurus seeks to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per annum at the Jaguar over an initial mine life of around 13 years. A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) has also been initiated.
The total production target is 45.0Mt at 0.80% Ni for a total of 361,300 tonnes of contained nickel metal.
The power will be supplied to the site by a 39km long 138kV transmission line which is connected to the national energy grid at the Tucuma sub-station. The power will be distributed across all facilities around the site via a combination of 13.8kV above-ground aerials and direct buried cables as required.
The scoping study of the mining project was conducted by consultants Entech, Re-Metallica and DRA Global.
Entech carried out mining and geotechnical studies for the Scoping stud, while Re-Metallica undertook a peer review and assist Entech on local mining productivity and costs.
DRA Global (Australia) supported Centaurus with plant engineering.
Several other engineering and technical advisors Trepanier, ALS Metallurgy, McArthur Ore Deposit Assessments, Malc Engenharia Ltda. & Conexão Energia, L&MGSPL and Bicho de Mata (Brazil) were also associated with the study.