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About: The Copernicus open cut nickel mine is located 50 kilometres south of the Savannah nickel project, 150 kilometres south of Halls Creek and about 240 kilometers south of Kununurra in the East Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.

Copernicus Nickel Project Began in 2006

In 2006, the small Copernicus nickel sulphide project was a joint venture operation being developed by Panoramic Resources Limited and Thundelarra Limited. Mining began at the Copernicus open pit in late 2007 but ceased soon after owing to the adverse affects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The mine was placed on care and maintenance, in early 2008, after transitional ore had been uncovered on the floor of the pit and a small amount had been successfully treated at the company's nearby Savannah processing plant. The Copernicus deposit, at that time, contained a Reserve of 3,750 tonnes and a resource of 9,950 tonnes nickel contained on a 100 percent basis.

Brierty was First Contractor to Develop the Copernicus Nickel Project

In June, 2008, Mining contractor, Brierty, was engaged to undertake open pit mining at the Copernicus project site by Panoramic Resources. The contract undertaken by Brierty was to manage the drilling and blasting of 1,500,000 cubic metres of material, as well as hauling the ore to the Savannah mine, 50 kilometres to the north, for processing.

The Brierty contract also gave them responsibility for clearing and grubbing at the site, removal and stockpiling, construction of haulage roads, haulage of the ore to the Savannah processing plant for processing, dewatering of the Copernicus pit, the dumping of waste material, ore mining and stockpiling and all rehabilitation work. Mining at the Copernicus mine site was undertaken by conventional open cut mining methods that required drilling, blasting and excavation. The Brierty contract was completed in December, 2008.

Panoramic Acquire full Ownership of Copernicus in 2014

In May, 2014, Panoramic Resources acquired the full ownership of the Copernicus nickel operation when it purchased Thundelarra Limited remaining interests in the former joint venture. Thundelarra Limited had not been making any contributions to the joint venture's expenditure costs which meant its interests in the project had been getting smaller as a result. The Copernicus open cut nickel sulphide mine was then restarted again by its now sole owner Panoramic Resources. Open cut mining was resumed at the Copernicus pit in December, 2014, with the ore once again taken to the Savannah processing plant by truck. The Copernicus ore was then blended and processed with the ore from the Savannah mine to produce a cobalt, copper and nickel concentrate. The concentrate is then shipped from the Wyndham port to the Jinchuan Group in China, for further processing.

Copernicus ore Processed at Savannah Processing Plant

The Savannah mine processing plant comprises a single stage crusher along with a SAG mill and flotation facility that includes filtering and thickening stages able to produce high quality bulk cobalt, copper and nickel concentrate. Nickel recovery averages between 86 and 89 percent, cobalt 89 and 92 percent and copper 94 to 97 percent. The mill is able to operate up to a throughput capacity of around 900,000 tonnes a year.

Panoramic Resources Limited is an Australian ASX listed company with interests in the exploration, evaluation, development and production of various mineral deposits that include; nickel, gold and platinum.

Panoramic Resources

Panoramic Resources owns and operates the Savannah and Lanfranchi underground nickel mines in WA. They also have the Gidgee project and the Mt Henry Joint Venture project, both gold operations in WA. Panoramic Resources employs over 500 people and since listing in 2001 has produced 114,000 more


Panoramic Resources
Level 9 553 Hay Street
Perth, WA 6000

PO Box Z5487
Perth, WA 6831



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Brierty has a contract role at Copernicus-Nickel-Project

Established since 1981, Brierty specialises in civil construction and mining. Over the last 10 years Brierty has established themselves as a mining contractor capable of supplying services such as;Bulk overburden strippingDrill and BlastTrain loadingTailings and water storage facilitiesVegetation ...Read More


Level 2, 72 Melville Parade
South Perth, WA 6951

Level 2, 72 Melville Parade
South Perth, WA 6951


Phone08 9267 8000
fax13 0073 5152

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Following are the resources mined at Copernicus Nickel Project

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