The miner announced that the minister for mines on behalf of the Solomon Islands government has formally granted Axiom's subsidiary, Axiom KB, the mining lease over the San Jorge nickel deposit, part of the Isabel nickel project.
The mining lease has been issued for a term of 25 years for the extraction, export and sale of nickel ore and other associated commodities.
The nickel deposits at San Jorge sit very close to the surface in uninhabited land along a shore that encompasses a natural deep-water harbour - all qualities that the company said will bring a direct shipping-of-ore operation to the market in a timely and environmentally acceptable fashion.
Axiom CEO Ryan Mount said: "We are now able to commence the construction of the Isabel nickel project and the subsequent sustainable mining of this world-class asset. This is the first time that any company in the mining industry has been granted a mining lease for this project.
"We look forward to efficiently move through all phases of development to commercial production due in early 2019."
Bradley Tovosia, Solomon Islands' minister for mines, energy and rural electrification, said: "The Isabel nickel project is to be an important part of our economy, and it's exciting to see real production now moving forward for everyone's benefit."
Development and construction of the mine has begun. Upgrades of the exploration camp to a long-term mining camp have commenced, in addition to roads and loading facilities construction, as well as community consultations; all currently underway in preparation for the first shipment of ore.
Financing for life-of-mine construction and development is in the advanced stages and due to be finalised over the coming weeks.