Growth-focused Western Australian nickel company St George Mining Limited (ASX: SGQ) has appointed highly experienced mining executive Julian Hanna as General Manager, Growth and Development, alongside announcing excellent results from a metallurgical programme for the Stricklands deposit, a key part of the company’s flagship high-grade Mt Alexander Project, located in the north-eastern Goldfields.
Mr Hanna has more than 35 years’ experience in the resources sector across a wide range of activities including exploration, development, mining and corporate growth. He was co-founder and managing director of nickel miner Western Areas Limited (ASX: WSA) from 2000 to 2012, during which time Western Areas grew from a $6m IPO to Australia’s No. 1 independent nickel sulphide producer through the discovery and development of the high-grade Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll nickel sulphide deposits in Western Australia. In 2013, Mr Hanna joined copper explorer MOD Resources Limited as managing director and drove exploration success across the company’s tenement area in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana. MOD was acquired by Sandfire Resources for $167 million in 2019.
Mr Hanna’s appointment coincides with St George announcing the outcomes of metallurgical test work completed on mixed massive and disseminated “life-of-mine” sulphide ore from the Stricklands deposit at Mt Alexander. The metallurgical work was completed by XPS Expert Process Solutions, a Glencore Company based in Falconbridge, Canada.
The test work confirmed the potential for St George to produce two separate commercially attractive concentrates:
- A nickel concentrate grading 11.5% Ni with 3.32 g/t Pd, 0.65g/t Pt and 0.61% Co; and
- A copper concentrate grading 27.8% Cu with 12.4 g/t Pd, 1.9 g/t Pt and 2.6 g/t Au.
The test work confirmed the absence of deleterious elements that could affect the saleability of the concentrates and also identified additional strategies to optimise recoveries and concentrate grades.
Commenting on Mr Hanna’s appointment and the excellent results of the metallurgical test work on the Stricklands deposit, St George executive chairman John Prineas said:
“We are delighted to have attracted someone of Julian’s calibre to St George Mining, to work with our existing highly credentialled team.
“His successful track record in exploration, mine development and corporate growth and his industry leading experience in WA’s nickel sulphide sector will be great assets to the Company and support our commitment to create shareholder wealth.”
“At the same time we are very pleased that the detailed metallurgical programme by XPS has confirmed that widely-used flotation techniques can produce separate clean concentrates for nickel and copper, with both concentrates also showing high payable credits for other metals including palladium, platinum, gold and cobalt. These results, supported by a flowsheet for potential commercial production, are an important milestone for the starter mine concept at Mt Alexander. Further optimisation work will be considered as we progress marketing studies with potential off-take customers.
“Our mineralisation at Mt Alexander has a unique combination of high-grade nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals which we believe has potential to produce concentrates of exceptional value.
“With the prices for all metals in our commodity suite at historical highs, we will also look to expand the area of known mineralisation to include additional high-grade massive sulphide lenses intersected in previously announced drilling as well as untested targets at shallow depth surrounding the Stricklands Deposit. We look forward to reporting on these development activities as they progress.”
Commenting on his decision to join St George as General Manager, Growth and Development, Mr Hanna said:
“St George has a quality portfolio of projects with similarities to other opportunities I have been involved with in exploration, project development and growth.
“The work already completed at the Mt Alexander and Paterson Projects underscores their compelling exploration potential.
“I am excited about returning to a highly promising nickel and base metals exploration story in Western Australia and look forward to contributing to the growth of St George.”