PERTH (miningweekly.com) – TSX-listed First Quantum is expecting to produce between 15 000 t and 17 000 t of nickel from its recently restarted Ravensthorpe mine, in Western Australia.
The operation went into care and maintenance in 2017 on the back of falling nickel prices at the time.
Speaking at the Paydirt Nickel conference, in Perth, First Quantum’s consulting project metallurgist, Rob Stone noted that first ore at Ravensthorpe was accessed in February this year, with first mixed hydroxide precipitate produced in April. The company in May shipped its first nickel.
The company is in the midst of an $80-million expansion plan at Ravensthorpe, which would see ore production expanding from the now depleted Heileys orebody into the Shoemaker-Levy orebody, some 10 km from the processing plant.
Construction of the crushing plant and the overland conveyor has started, and First Quantum is targeting commissioning of this infrastructure by the first quarter of 2021, with the ore being fed into the Ravensthorpe plant by the second quarter.
First Quantum has previously set production targets of between 25 000 t and 28 000 t of nickel from Ravensthorpe for both the 2021 and 2022 financial years, with the miner expecting the Shoemaker-Levy deposit to support a mine life of between 20 and 25 years.