NEW YORK Cliffs
Natural Resources Inc.s Canadian subsidiary
has decided to proceed with a prefeasability study at the
proposed Decar nickel-iron alloy project in British
By choosing to fund
and conduct the study within the next two years, Cliffs Natural
Resources Exploration Canada Inc. has the option to lift its
ownership stake in the project to 65 percent, according to
project partner First Point Minerals Corp., Vancouver, British
Columbia. In March, Cleveland-based Cliffs increased its stake
in the Decar project to 60 percent after receiving a positive
preliminary economic assessment that month (
amm.com, March 27).
Cliffs also holds an
option for a further 10-percent stake in the project through
funding a bankable feasibility study, which would raise the
companys total stake to 75 percent.
Cliffs first optioned
the Decar project from First Point in November 2009 and has
spent about $21 million to advance the project through
completion of the preliminary economic assessment. The March
assessment estimates Decars production at 37,369 tonnes
(82.4 million pounds) of nickel concentrate annually over a
24-year mine life.