Nickel Mines brings another furnace online

29th March 2022 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – ASX-listed Nickel Mines has started the commissioning of the third of four rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) lines at its 80%-owned Angle nickel project, in the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP).

Having announced the maiden nickel pig iron (NPI) tap from the first RKEF line in late January, Angel’s second RKEF line commenced commissioning in late February, with the third line commencing commissioning on March 25.

Nickel Mines told shareholders on Tuesday that Angel’s fourth RKEF line is expected to commence its commissioning phase by the end of April.

The commissioning of the Angel nickel project comes well ahead of the October 2022 contractual delivery date of the project.

Each of Angel’s RKEF lines has a nameplate capacity of 9 000 t/y of nickel metal, equating to 750 t of nickel metal a month.

Nickel Mines told shareholders that production levels across the first two RKEF lines continues to ramp up in line with expectations. Line 1 is now operating at around 500 t of nickel metal a month, representing 66% of nameplate capacity, with line 2 currently operating at 300 t of nickel metal a month, representing 40% of nameplate capacity.

NPI production from ANI’s RKEF lines will run at less than 100% of the 36 000 t/y of nickel metal production nameplate capacity, depending on power availability.

Nickel Mines noted that additional energy supply from IWIP’s existing power grid is currently being arranged to support increased production levels from Angel’s lines. The project’s designated power plant remains on track to commence commissioning in August after which time the company expects production levels across all four RKEF lines to rapidly ramp up to above the nameplate capacity.

“We are extremely pleased to see the progressive and seamless ramp-up of our ANI RKEF lines. With three lines now commissioning and delivering increased production levels each week we look forward to Angel becoming a material contributor to our rapidly expanding RKEF operations,” said Nickel Mines MD Justin Werner.

“With more than 700 t of nickel metal already stockpiled from ANI and with our fourth line due to commence commissioning by the end of April, we would again like to congratulate our operations team for their efforts in the delivery of this project.

“With our replica project Oracle also progressing well at IMIP, we remain firmly on track to triple our RKEF production levels over the next 12 months and firmly entrench Nickel Mines as a top-10 global nickel producer.”

The successful commissioning of Angel will more than double Nickel Mines’ annual attributable nickel metal nameplate capacity from 24 000 t to 52 800 t. The introduction of the Oracle nickel project by the first quarter of 2023 is set to further increase attributable nickel metal nameplate capacity to 78 000 t/y.