Spotted Quoll is Western Areas' second mine and was discovered in October 2007, as a result of Western Areas ongoing investment in regional and near mine exploration. Production commenced only 24 months later, in mid 2009.
Spotted Quoll rivals, and in cases, exceeds the nickel grades of Flying Fox, also making it one of the world’s highest grade nickel mines. Spotted Quoll is a low cash cost operation, with nickel produced under US$2 per pound. Production for FY16 is expected at around 13,000 tonnes of nickel in ore.
Production initially commenced from the Tim King open pit, which concluded as planned in February 2012 after producing around 27,000 tonnes of contained nickel.
The Spotted Quoll orebody is open at depth with the mine planned to just over 1km below the surface. The primary stoping method is a ‘top-down’ mining method using long-hole open stoping with paste fill. The narrower and shallower areas are mined using top-down narrow vein techniques also with paste fill with an average FY16 reserve grade of 3.6%. Based on current ore reserves, Spotted Quoll has a mine life exceeding 10 years.
Western Areas continues to invest in near mine and regional exploration in the Forrestania region.