By Jane Goldsmith

March 2015
Sirius beginning its pioneer mining operation at the world-class Nova nickel project in late January. Image: Sirius Resources

ACTIVITY at Sirius Resources’ world-class Nova nickel project has begun, with formal mining operations ramping up alongside major construction works.

Sirius managing director Mark Bennett said it was “very satisfying” to break ground at the Nova project, just two-and-a-half years after the deposit’s discovery.

“We have started the project on time, on plan and significantly within original CAPEX budget estimates,” he said.

According to the conditions of a $129 million, three-year contract, Barminconder will complete initial surface mining in three months, and then segue immediately into underground operations.

Nova’s existing exploration camp is being expanded into a 200-person temporary construction camp, to house the workforce while the main accommodation village is being built.

The temporary housing is due in March, while the $23 million permanent accommodation village is forecast for completion in August.

Construction of an aerodrome and access roads has also started.

Tenders to build the processing plant have closed, and the preferred contractor is expected to be announced in March.