Norilsk to re-open mothballed mines

Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel is set to re-open its closed WA mines.

Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel is set to reopen its closed WA mines.

Its Lake Johnston mine near Kalgoorlie is set to open next year.

Nearly two years after pulling out of its West Australian nickel mines, putting them all on care and maintenance, Norilsk said Lake Johnston would be re-opened as part of a phased restart of "some of its Australian assets".

However, it declined to go into detail regarding the potential re-opening of its other mines, namely the Black Swan, Cawse and Waterloo mines.

After acquiring the mines in 2007, it was forced to close the operations only two years later due to the global financial crisis and plummeting nickel prices.

The year also saw BHP Billiton take similar action to Norilsk, closing its Ravensthorpe nickel mine for much the same reason.

However, since closing the Lake Johnston mine in February last year, the nickel price has since doubled.

The nickel mine has an output capacity of approximately 9500 tonnes per year, with production planned for the first half of 2011.

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