The West

Sirius boss thrilled with textbook deposit

Mark Bennett was trying not to smile during this photo shoot for _WestBusiness _.

The managing director of Sirius Resources - WA mining's 2012 success story - just can't help it.

When describing the company's Nova nickel copper deposit, 100km north east of Norseman, it is easy to see why.

"It really looks textbook," Mr Bennett told shareholders at a general meeting yesterday to approve its recent equity raising..

The deposit, which some analysts say will produce 23,000 tonnes per annum of nickel and 11,000t per year of copper at the lowest costs in Australia, was, predictably, the main point of discussion.

Mr Bennett said Nova, the "textbook" deposit, would have a maiden resource out by March, a scoping study complete by July and a feasibility study done by the end of the year.

This meant a final investment decision on Nova would take place at the end of this year, he said.

Yet, the most potent piece of news Mr Bennett told the handful of investors present at the Hyatt yesterday was the circumstances surrounding last month's $44 million capital raising.

"Oh, it was extremely popular," he said, describing the week-long jaunt around the UK in December to entice institutional investors into the stock. "In fact it was $100 million oversubscribed."

Another "problem" facing Nova which Mr Bennett and his board discussed, was the high-levels of conductivity due to the high-grade Nova deposit. The company said as it searched for other areas of mineralisation surrounding Nova, the deposit was getting in the way as it was too conductive.

Speaking about the other targets in the tenement holding, Mr Bennett said they had a 3km long "copper sniff" on ground drilled by Newmont in the 1960s.

"Generally when they're that big it's only a thin line of mineralisation, and not an ore body," he said.

"But then again, that's what we said about Nova before we drilled it."

Then again, that's what we said about Nova before we drilled it."

Mark Bennett

The West Australian

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