First Quantum is expected to restart the Ravensthorpe nickel mine in 18 months.
Following finalisation of the purchase process from BHP Billiton, First Quantum will spend the next year modifying the plant, and the following months commissioning and ramping up the nickel mine.
The miner plans to add two crushing plants to the stock pile as well as reclaim certain areas of the plant.
The entire process is projected to cost Canadian miner First Quantum approximately US$150 million, with the miner expecting to produce 39 000 tonnes of nickel annually for the first five years, and then 28 000 tonnes for every year after that over Ravensthorpe’s project 32 year mine life span.
First Quantum bought the mine from BHP late last year for US$ 340 million, after BHP put the mine on care and maintenance in early 2009 following plunging nickel prices and difficulty extracting the metal.
The Ravensthorpe mine originally cost BHP US$2.1 billion to construct, and last year saw the nearby town of Ravensthorpe lose 1800 jobs when the mine was closed.
The restarting of the mine is expected to add another boost to the town following Galaxy Resource’s opening of its Mt Cattlin lithium project located outside of Ravensthorpe.
The mine is located 550 kilometres south east of Perth.