BNC has nickel resources across Zimbabwe under mining, processing, and exploration assets. These are Trojan Mine, Shangani Mine, the BSR facility, Hunters Road Project, Damba-Silwane as well as the Trojan Hill and Kingstone Hill Projects. Collectively, these resources amount to a total of 72.5 million tonnes of ore, at an average grade of 0.60%, containing approximately 434.8 kilo-tonnes of nickel.
Bindura Nickel Corporation has three mining locations in Zimbabwe viz Trojan Mine (Bindura), Shangani Mine (Shangani) and the Hunters Road Project (between Gweru and Kwekwe). The Company previously operated Epoch Mine (Filabusi) and Madziwa Mine (Madziwa), both of which are now closed. The Company also owns, through Trojan Nickel Mine Limited, smelter and refinery complexes in Bindura. Both complexes are currently under care and maintenance.
Bindura Nickel Corporation wholly owns 3 subsidiaries, which are BSR Limited (formerly Bindura Smelter and Refinery Limited), Trojan Nickel Mine Limited (TNML) and Hunters Road Nickel Mine (Private) Limited (Hunters Road). TNML is the only operating subsidiary. BSR Limited is dormant while Hunters Road is at project stage. The assets that belonged to BSR Limited, being the smelter and refinery, were transferred to TNML in terms of a restructuring that was implemented in 2004.
TNML consists of two mines which are, Trojan Mine and Shangani Mine. On average, TNML produces approximately 400,000 tonnes of ore and 5,500 tonnes of nickel in concentrate per annum respectively. Trojan Mine, located in Bindura was restarted in 2012 after 4 years of care and maintenance. It has an inferred resource size of 8.59 million tonnes of 1.00% nickel ore grade which amounts to 85,600 tonnes of contained nickel. The mine has proven ore reserves of 2.76 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.86% nickel ore, amounting to 23,600 tonnes of contained nickel.
Shangani Mine has an inferred resource size of 12.03 million tonnes of ore, at 0.56% nickel grade which amounts to 68,000 tonnes of contained nickel. Shangani Mine is currently under care and maintenance.
TNML’s smelter and refinery are currently under care and maintenance. The smelter has the capacity to treat BNC and third-party concentrates.
Trojan Mine completed and successfully commissioned the Shaft Re-deepening Project during an almost 8-week long shutdown from March to April of 2021. The Shaft Re-deepening Project involved two major components, namely:
Additionally, works were also carried out on surface infrastructure, to support future production which included refurbishment of the Main Shaft Headgear and the processing plant.
BSR Limited is dormant.
Hunters Road Mine is still at project stage. The mine is located 25 and 37 kilometres from the towns of Kwekwe and Gweru respectively. It has 36.4 million tonnes of mineral resources at 0.55% nickel grade, equivalent to 200,000 tonnes of contained nickel. In addition, in 1993, an Anglo-American Mineral Resource Evaluation Department (MinRED) estimate showed 11 million tonnes grading at 0.43% nickel approximately, 600 metres east of the West Ore body of Hunters Road, which is not included in the quoted resource.
BNC currently utilises approximately 50% of the processing plant capacity at Trojan Mine. The long-term goal is to produce at least 10,000 tonnes of nickel per annum, which is approximately double the current production level. Pursuant to this goal, the Company is transitioning from a low volume, high grade to a high volume-low grade strategy, to guarantee long-term production sustainability. The improved mine productivity as a result of the Shaft Re-deepening Project will enable the processing plant to be operated at its capacity of 90,000 tonnes per month. This strategy is feasible for BNC owing to the existence of a confirmed huge low grade disseminated resource of approximately 8.33 million tonnes, at an average grade of 0.86% at Trojan Mine and a sound processing plant with approximately 50% excess capacity at current production rates.
The Company intends to ramp up development from 3,330 to 8,000 metres per annum in order to attain and then sustain the production of 6,500 tonnes of nickel per annum. For the purposes of extending the current BNC ore resource, exploration work will be carried out at Trojan Mine and near-mine sources such as Trojan Hill and Kingstone Hill.
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