Kambalda job losses make for sombre 50th anniversary of nickel discovery – by Sam Tomlin and Tara de Landgrafft (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – January 28, 2016)


ABC Goldfields – As nickel miners across Western Australia continue to warehouse their assets, the Goldfields town at the heart of the state’s original nickel boom is quietly marking its 50th anniversary.

Kambalda, around 60km south of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, dates its modern existence from January 1966, and the sinking of the KD1 drill shaft by the Western Mining Corporation.

On January 28, the results from the initial drilling became apparent, with the unprecedented quantities of nickel sparking a boom that continued nearly uninterrupted for three decades.

But with the present-day nickel prices plunging to unprecedented lows of $US3.89 a pound, the region’s miners are now putting the breaks on previously-viable development until the price recovers.

Mincor was the latest miner to join the trend this week, confirming operations at its Mariners and Miitel mines near Kambalda would be suspended by the end of January.

While the move was not unexpected, it’s another hit for the beleaguered community.

“It’s never pleasant, especially in a small community where everybody knows everyone,” Shire Councillor Norm Karafilis said. “It’s certainly something they’ve felt before, and they’ll probably feel again.”

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-28/sombre-anniversary-for-kambalda-with-further-jobs-to-go/7121434

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