Nickel still unsteady

Mincor Resources managing director David Moore says the price of nickel remains too volatile to restart the Miitel mine in Western Australia.

Mincor Resources managing director David Moore says the price of nickel remains too volatile to restart the company’s suspended Miitel mine in Western Australia.

Speaking at the Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Moore said that despite recent gains in prices, the company does not plan to restart the mine in the immediate future.

“It is not in our plans to restart it this calendar year,” he said.

Mincor indefinitely suspended operations at the mine in late December, halting production of between 4,000 and 5,000 tonnes of nickel per year as world prices for the metal plummeted.

The current price of nickel is around US$18,300 a tonne, significantly down from record highs above US$51,000 a tonne two years ago, but still above this year’s lows of less than US$10,000.

According to Moore, Miitel could be profitable at the current price of nickel, but the market remains too unstable to risk reactivating the operation.

“We could put it (Miitel) in production tomorrow and be making good money at these prices,” Moore said.

“It is more the sustainability of the prices that I want to feel more comfortable about before I put it back into production.”

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