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Australia's Panoramic Resources to restart operations at Savannah, shares jump

Kitco News

April 6 (Reuters) - Panoramic Resources will restart its Savannah Nickel Operation in Western Australia, the company said on Tuesday, a year after suspending operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The base metal miner and explorer said it had secured a five-year nickel and copper concentrate offtake contract for the project from Singapore-based commodities trading firm Trafigura Group, sending its shares up 14.8% in their biggest intraday percentage gain in three months.

Panoramic also got a $45 million secured loan financing facility from Trafigura, the Perth-headquartered company said. More than A$100 million ($76.36 million) had been invested in Savannah before the suspension. Underground mining is scheduled to restart in August with strategies in place to improve and de-risk the project, and the first concentrate shipment is targeted for December this year.

Panoramic has engaged underground mining contractor Barminco for the project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, while Primero will operate and maintain the Savannah processing plant for three years. Panoramic Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Victor Rajasooriar said engaging contractors for both underground mining and processing would significantly reduce the human resourcing risk, a key concern in 2018 and 2019. "Strict COVID-19 protocols will continue to be in place for our Kimberley workforce as required by government guidelines," Rajasooriar said. ($1 = 1.3096 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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