Western Areas has released the company’s quarterly activities report, indicating low cost nickel production and record development at Flying Fox, and encouraging developments at Spotted Quoll.
According to the quarterly activities report, March quarter 2009 highlights include:
- Solid production at Flying Fox with 77,500t ore mined at average grade of 3.7% nickel for 2,833t nickel. Average cash cost was US$1.98/lb nickel.
- Flying Fox mine development is ahead of schedule with high grade ore now being mined at T1 and T4 deposits. T5 is on target to be reached in Dec Q 09.
- First Ore Reserve announced for Spotted Quoll open pit with 307,000 tonnes ore at average grade of 5.4% nickel for 16,500 tonnes contained nickel.
- Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator now commissioned and officially opened by the Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum on 24th March.
- Major restructure of the existing offtake agreement with Norilsk announced on 16 February, providing flexibility for Western Areas to sell to other parties.
The LME nickel price recently increased from approximately US$4.90/lb nickel at 3I December 2008 to about US$5.79/lb nickel at 16 April 2009.