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 Columbia.
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.