Estrella Resources has reached an ore processing and off-take agreement with Glencore’s wholly owned unit Murrin Murrin Operations for the 5A nickel mine in Western Australia.

This agreement allows Estrella to move ahead with the bulk metallurgical extraction of between 2,000t and 4,000 of high-grade nickel sulphide ore from the 5A mine.

The 5A nickel sulphide deposit is located within the firm’s Spargoville Project 20km south-west of Kambalda, Western Australia.

In a press statement, Estrella said: “The commercial terms for the sale of the bulk metallurgical sample are confidential, though the company expects it will see a positive financial return from the extraction of the sample at current high nickel prices.”

Estrella said that field activities have started at the 5A nickel mine while bulk sample laydown areas have been prepared. Pit access and rehabilitation of the open-pit ramp have also been completed.

The firm further noted that the sample extraction work is planned to start in the near future. The collected sample will be crushed and screened at the bulk sample laydown area following which it will be loaded and trucked to Murrin Murrin for processing.

Glencore’s Murrin Murrin fully integrated nickel and cobalt operation is located approximately in the northeastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. It processes and refines nickel and cobalt to produce LME-grade metal briquettes on-site.

The firm said in a statement: “A positive process outcome for the bulk metallurgical sample via the Murrin Murrin HPAL route will provide the company with a strong basis to fully develop the 5A nickel mine ore resource via simple pit cut-back mining methods and further develop remaining nickel resources at Andrews, 5B and 1A nickel deposits.”