Clean TeQ has received the go ahead from New South Wales officials to move forward on its Sunrise nickel-cobalt-scandium operation.
Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CLQ,TSX:CLQ) has received the go ahead from New South Wales’ Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to move forward on improvements to its Sunrise nickel-cobalt-scandium operation.
The improvements, referred to collectively as Modification 4, entail optimizing and de-risking Sunrise through moves like amending the processing plant design and layout, mine plan and general logistics.
The company will also diversify water supply by getting approval to access surface water from the nearby Lachlan River, and by receiving consent to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of ammonium sulfate per year for sale as a by-product.
“While Clean TeQ Sunrise already had development approval, Modification 4 optimises and further enhances the operability of this globally significant development project,” Clean TeQ CEO Sam Riggall said in a statement on Friday (December 21).
“We appreciate the input of our community stakeholders to the modification process; this has been vital in ensuring our future coexistence and Clean TeQ’s social licence to operate,” he added.
The company released a definitive feasibility study (DFS) in June that lays out an initial 25-year mine life, with claims of having sufficient ore reserves to extend past 40 years. It also indicates a production rate of 450,871 tonnes of nickel, 84,007 tonnes of cobalt and 250 tonnes of scandium oxide during that period.
While the company is targeting mid-2019 for the beginning of construction at Sunrise, it is a project that has been underway for quite some time. According to a statement from the IPC, Sunrise physically commenced in 2006 with partial development of the project’s borefield, but was later suspended due to “unfavourable economic conditions.”
The commission gave approval for the modifications to Sunrise with “strict conditions,” as it has received 39 submissions from the public either objecting to or raising concerns about the proposed mine.
“Of note, the Commission has reinstated ‘noise acquisition criteria’ to the conditions of consent, giving local landowners the right to request that CleanTeQ acquire their property if noise generated by the mine causes sustained exceedances of the noise criteria,” the IPC’s statement reads.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.