Opening of Cassini mine marks start of new era for Kambalda’s historic nickel mining industry – by Jarrod Lucas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – March 29, 2021)

WA’s Mines Minister Bill Johnston will officially open a new nickel mine at Kambalda today, more than 50 years after the town was put on the map by the discovery of Australia’s first nickel mine. The Cassini underground mine is Kambalda’s first new nickel development in two decades — since the Miitel mine began production in the year 2000.

More than 200 jobs have been created since September’s decision by Perth-based miner Mincor Resources to green light its $98 million restart plan for Kambalda’s once-booming nickel industry. The investment decision was long-awaited after a decade-long run of low nickel prices saw Mincor shut its Miitel and Mariners mines in 2016.

Mincor’s managing director David Southam, who took the helm two years ago, said he believed the restart will represent a “third wave” of prosperity for Kambalda. “To give you some perspective, the nickel price today is nearly three times higher than when Mincor shut down its mines,” Mr Southam said.

“There was always a strategy to come back online in the future once the market conditions had improved.”

Town built on 1960s nickel boom
Australia’s first nickel boom was sparked by the metal’s discovery at Kambalda in 1966, when global demand was on the rise due to the Vietnam War and nickel’s traditional use in stainless-steel markets.

For the rest of this article: