Mincor maintains an aggressive and well-funded exploration program throughout the Kambalda Nickel District. This exploration is targeted at both near-mine (brownfields) exploration and regional (greenfields) exploration.
To date Mincor's exploration efforts have resulted in the discovery of the North and South Miitel ore bodies, the Carnilya Hill ore body, the Mariners N09, N10 and N11 ore bodies, and numerous extensions to existing ore bodies. In total Mincor estimates that it has discovered in excess of 100,000 tonnes of nickel metal at the ore reserve level - the equivalent of a world-class ore body.
Mincor's exploration team comprises an outstanding group of dedicated geologists and support staff with a thorough knowledge of Kambalda-style nickel deposits and extensive experience in the management of disciplined and carefully targeted exploration.
Mincor maintains an exploration office near the town of Kambalda, as well as a significant exploration infrastructure at its Miitel mine site.
The Company's landholdings in the Kambalda area comprise the large suite of tenements around Mincor's operating mines in the Widgiemooltha area, the Carnilya Hill tenements to the north of Kambalda (70% Mincor), a large holding over the northern half of the Kambalda Dome, and the Bluebush Line covering over 40km of prospective strike.
All of these tenement areas have proven high prospectivity for nickel, demonstrated by the presence of nickel mineralisation and the all-important 'basal contact'. The basal contact is the stratigraphic position (a contact between two rock types) along which all significant nickel ore bodies in the Kambalda District occur (see Genesis of Kambalda Nickel Deposits web-page).
The success of Mincor's ongoing exploration work in the Kambalda District is illustrated by the below graph, which demonstrates Mincor's long-term success in continually replacing its ore reserves. Mincor started mining in 2001 with a total ore reserve of 25,400 tonnes of nickel metal. By June 2013 the Company had mined 153,000 tonnes of nickel and had a further 21,300 tonnes of unmined ore reserves. Adding mined production to unmined reserves shows that Mincor has increased its starting ore reserve nearly sevenfold over 13 years.