The port of Esperance has the capacity to handle the nickel export from the Ravensthorpe mine, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said.
Following the Canadian miner First Quantum’s purchase of Ravensthorpe, it is aiming to reach a production rate of 39 000 tonnes of nickel annually over the first five years.
The majority of this output would pass through the West Australian port. Esperance Port can cope with this level of nickel exports as “the port was expanded to accommodate for the project originally,” Barnett explained.
After holding talks with First Quantum, Barnett has stated that he is aware of the previous problems of the mine, which forced it to shut in January, however First Quantum can make the project work, he added.
The Canadian miner is aiming to begin production in 2011 after agreeing to purchase the mothballed Ravensthorpe mine for US $340 million earlier this month.