Axiom drilling activity on Isabel Nickel Project.
Radio New Zealand | 6 October 2018
Nickel mining is finally set to commence on San Jorge Island in Solomon Islands’ Isabel Province.
An Australian company, Axiom, this week announced that mining will begin in December.
It said the mine’s first nickel ore shipment was expected to be made in the first quarter of next year.
Axiom, which was granted a lease by the Solomons government last month, said it was close to finalising finance for its project.
According to the company, it is in “advanced stages of negotiations with a number of parties” who are potential partners in the mine.
On the back of Wednesday’s announcement, shares in Axiom Mining rose sharply on the Australian stock exchange.
Isabel is considered to possess one of the largest clusters of nickel laterite deposits in the Pacific.
Stephen Diisango | Solomon Star | July 27, 2016
AXIOM Mining Limited is nearing the completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on the Isabel Nickel Project, covering both the San Jorge and Kolosori deposits.
The company’s update as of 25 July reaching this paper revealed that the study is nearing completion thus it is expected to validate the potential of the Isabel Nickel Project.
“Planning of a cost-effective development of the San Jorge tenement is well advanced in anticipation of the imminent commencement of operations to develop the company’s asset of medium to high grade tropical nickel laterite ore.
“Axiom is progressing with its discussions and negotiations with its strategic partners, and the recruitment of key personnel has commenced.
“The application for the Kolosori tenement is before the government. Axiom remains confident of its position as the preferred developer of sustainable mineral development in the Solomon Islands and anticipates a formal response from government shortly.
“Recent developments in the international nickel laterite market continue to bode well for Axiom and reinforce the value of the Isabel Nickel Project.”
Chief Executive Officer Ryan Mount according to the report said that he sees Axiom capitalising on the current market situation.
“The DSO nickel laterite ore market is undergoing unprecedented change. Indonesia, the Philippines and New Caledonia, holding 80% of the world’s nickel laterite reserves for DSO, are refusing to export any significant nickel ore to China.
“In what is becoming one of the most constrained nickel laterite markets in history, Axiom is in the incredible position of being potentially one of the only few viable DSO opportunities for the world’s largest nickel ore consumer, China.”
“The Company has continued to conduct studies in consultation with leading industry experts as to the economics and development of mining for nickel ore located within the Isabel Province, collectively known as the “Isabel Nickel Project.”
Meanwhile, Axiom mining Ltd (ASX: AVQ) has also appointed its new executive general manager, in charge of mining operations in Solomon Islands.
He is Mr Ken Stein who over 40 years’ experience in mining, with a career beginning with BHP in Australia and then to East Timor as Engineering Manager for Billiton, it was revealed.
“Stein was the chief operating officer for European Nickel and Toldeo Mining managing their nickel interests in the Philippines, including the Burong and Ipilan nickel laterite sites.
“Ryan Mount, CEO, commented, “We are delighted to have Ken on-board.
“His experience in most facets of nickel mining and his experience in dealing with governments, local communities and joint venture partners is valuable to Axiom as we advance the development of the our nickel interests in the Solomon Islands,” it said.
From 2004 to 2008 Mr Stein also led BHP’s operations in Angola as General Manager. Later, in Botswana, Ken was responsible for the construction and successful commissioning of the award-winning hydrometallurgical nickel extraction demonstration plant at the Tati Nickel Mine.
More recently he was the Chief Operating Officer for European Nickel and Toldeo Mining managing their nickel interests in the Philippines including the Burong and Ipilan nickel laterite sites.