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AQUILA PROJECT, INDONESIA


Aquila Nickel is a principal greenfield Ni&Co project, aimed at the construction of large and efficient nickel producer in Indonesia. The resource base consists of large ore body which is located in Maba on Halmahera Island. Currently, the project is estimated to have resources amounting to:

  • over 120 million tons of dry saprolite ore, with an average Ni grade of 1.58%; and
  • over 80 million tons of dry limonite ore, with Ni grade of 1.15% and Co grade 0.15%

Solway Group obtained the exploration license to the holding company in 2007. Since early 2014, Solway has completed a feasibility study and in 2017 obtained all the necessary permits required to proceed to the next stage including the main mining license.

The primary objective for this project is to unlock the potential of its Tier-1 nickel and cobalt ore reserves. The goals are to complete a downstream facilities configuration, develop new state-of-the-art processing technologies, and complete the design for and construction of a world-class ferronickel smelting and hydrometallurgical processing facility, to ensure export of value-added nickel and cobalt products.

In addition to the Aquila Project, the Group is developing the following smaller deposits in Indonesia:

Asera

The Group launched its first Indonesian operation in early 2011 with direct export of nickel ore from the Asera deposit. The Asera deposit is located on the coast of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. The Group mines ore from the Asera deposit using open pits. The mining operations are supported by several ore storage areas, two piers for loading the ore onto ships, as well as access roads and other supplementary infrastructure. According to the latest JORC statement, the Asera deposit has an estimated resource base of over 16 million metric tons of nickel ore at an average nickel grade of 1.5%. In addition, the Group believes that there are further exploration opportunities with a potential resource base of 40 million metric tons within the license area.

Bahoomahi

The Bahoomahi deposit is located in a mountainous region of the Sulawesi Island. The closest seaport is 27 kilometres from the mining site. Necessary basic infrastructure is available on site. Automated diesel generators provide the necessary power. Mined ore will be delivered to the seaport by trucks. The Bahoomahi deposit has an estimated resource base of 14 million metric tons with potential for an extra 13 million metric tons of nickel ore at an average nickel grade of 1.9%, according to the Group’s internal estimates. The Group estimates the possible production capacity rate as 100,000 metric tons of nickel ore per month.

Sorowalio

The Group acquired rights to the Sorowalio deposit in 2009. The Sorowalio deposit is located inland on Buton Island, Indonesia. The closest seaport is 15-20 kilometers from the mining site. The mining operations are conducted from open pits and supported by several ore storage areas, access roads, and other supplementary infrastructure. Automated diesel generators provide the necessary power. Trucks will deliver mined ore to the seaport. The Sorowalio deposit has an estimated resource base of 6.6 million metric tons of nickel ore at an average nickel grade of 2%, according to the Group’s internal estimates. In August 2012, the Group received a forestry permit and began full-scale development of the mining site. In January 2015, due to a change in licensing, the territory of the resource base was revised as follows: 7.7 million metric tons of nickel ore at an average nickel grade of 1.94% with 810,000 metric tons at an average nickel grade of 1.8%.

The Asera, Bahoomahi, and Sorowalio projects are now ready to commence mining, as all infrastructure is in place and supporting permits and licenses are valid.

Way Forward                                                                                                         

Based on more than a decade long presence in Indonesia and accumulated experience and team,  Solway Group feels comfortable to further develop nickel and cobalt deposits into highly profitable mining and processing assets which will benefit from increasing local nickel ore market as well as being leveraged on the growing global Electric Vehicle sector and anticipated critical materials supply shortages in mid- and long-term.