Texas’s independent exploration and production company Pioneer Resources has revealed its initial mineral resource estimate from Blair nickel mine within its 100%-owned Golden Ridge project in Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia.

The company reported an estimate of 222,710 tonnes of nickel sulphide ore with a grade of two percent Ni at its Blair nickel mine.

Previous explorers completed all of the drilling work within the Blair mine.

The company has discovered three priority areas that warrant further exploration, with each having drilling records displaying the presence of nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Pioneer Resources managing director David Crook said the initial mineral resource provides the company with an excellent basis from which to grow.

”The company is aware that a number of commodity forecasters are predicting an improvement to the nickel price within the next few years, and Pioneer is looking to develop a robust production scenario, and therefore be ideally leveraged for a return to higher nickel prices,” Crook added.

Furthermore, Pioneer has identified a multitude of potential opportunities, including down-plunge extension to the mineral resource, as well as a number of near mine exploration targets along the base of the ultramafic host-rock contact.

Pioneer Resources believes the usage of surface drilling, modern down-hole EM and ground EM surveys will aid the company in identification of further potential economic mineralisation.

WMC Resources commissioned the Blair Nickel Mine during the 1989-90 and sold to McMahons Mining in 1999.

McMahons operated the underground project until 2002 when it ceased production

Furthermore, the project was then sold to Australian Mines in 2003, which operated it until 2008 when it ceased production due to another fall in the nickel price.