Amur Minerals (AMC.L) has released an updated resource estimate on its Kun-Manie nickel-copper project in Eastern Russia.
The total resources are now standing at 101 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.76% nickel and 0.2% copper, resulting in an average nickel-equivalent grade of 1.03%. Kun-Manie now contains 1.7 billion pounds of nickel, 450 million pounds of copper and approximately half a million ounces of Platinum and Palladium. Kun-Manie also contains 33 million pounds of cobalt and even though this represents an in-situ value of $660M, the gross metal value per tonne of rock in the resource estimate is just $6/t (on a 100% recovery and payability basis) so whilst it’s an interesting kicker, it won’t really move the needle.
With this new resource estimate, the focus has shifted towards a combination of an open pit mine with an underground mining scenario. As approximately 80% of the resources are now located in the measured and indicated categories, it will be interesting to see Amur Minerals develop a new mine plan.
For now, the nickel price isn’t really cooperating, but Amur’s Kun-Manie project could be seen as a call option on the nickel price – with the associated geopolitical risks. The project will obviously always be discounted by the market due to its location in Russia, which is perceived to be riskier than an Australian or Canadian asset.