Ravensthorpe mine to reopen after chemical spill

Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Western Australia is set to reopen after a chemical spill closed the site in December.

On December 15th 2014, First Quantum Minerals advised a structural failure to the atmospheric leach tank at the Ravensthorpe site.

The tank contained acid-leaching nickel in slurry and the company said the spill had been contained within the plant’s protective bunded area.

In good news for the mine’s 640 workers, First Quantum Minerals said it expects the mine will be back in production shortly.

The company announced the plan as part of its December quarterly report.

Ravensthorpe produced 36,445 tonnes of nickel in 2014 despite the closure of the mine.

However nickel output for the rest of 2015 is set to suffer with the company predicting it will produce between 24,000 to 30,000 tonnes.

A spokesperson for the company has previously told Australian Mining staff at the mine have “been going above and beyond to try and get the plant running as soon as possible”.

“Back-up power was restored to the majority of the plant during the Christmas break, allowing the clean-up to get into full swing. Planning and preparation for the safe demolition of the old tank is underway and we have made considerable progress despite the challenges associated with the holiday period,” the spokesman said.

“Testing and maintenance of affected plant and machinery is well underway and, where required, new parts are being ordered. Like our employees, our suppliers are pulling out all stops to help.”

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