Circular and Camino...
Nickel's present price is discouraging, but prices change - hopefully for the better. A nickel price above US $10 and US
.95 buying Can $1.00 is attainable. Also growth in the highly populated developing economies could increase nickel production.
Victory's financing problems are connected to the global economic situation as well as her being a junior miner..
Better ore recoveries than the 71.3% indicated in the DFS would IMO increase lender interest..
Energy cost is a solvable problem, perhaps using conveyors to move the ore to treatment or a natural gas powered mining fleet might help solve that problem..
Relative to smelter fees...
If a smelter charged 8%* of the going nickel price to process a tonne of nickel concentrate grading 10% in concentrate, then a similar quality concentrate, but grading 20% nickel in concentrate at the same 8% processing fee, the mining company would receive roughly double the cash value. The reason why it might not be double would be the charge to process the extra 10% or (220 lbs into various shapes).
Its also possible that a higher quality concentrate will provide for lower smelting fees.
*the 8% fee is just for explanation and could be higher or lower.