Canadian mining giant First Quantum Minerals has announced it will mothball its Ravensthorpe nickel operations in WA’s south-east from early next month because of low nickel prices. The Toronto-based company employs about 270 people at the Ravensthorpe mine and the closure will hit the community hard only months after devastating floods ripped through the region.
First Quantum said it would cost about $10 million to enter care and maintenance, which should be in effect by early October. The annual bill of maintaining the site is estimated at $5 million. In a statement, First Quantum’s chief executive Philip Pascall described the decision as “disappointing”.
“Ravensthorpe is an excellent operation with an outstanding workforce and supportive community but the continuing depressed nickel market conditions, over some years, leaves us no option,” he said.
“Over the next few weeks we will work closely with our employees and key contractors to mitigate the impact and manage carefully the staged shutdown of operations. “We will be offering assistance to employees in seeking further employment opportunities.”
However, there is some hope for the mine, with First Quantum saying it would continue to progress the permitting process at the Shoemaker Levy orebody, along with regular review of the market conditions for a potential restart of operations. To restart operations, should favourable conditions prevail, is estimated at $10 million.
For the rest of this article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/ravensthorpe-nickel-mine-to-close/8791356