NEW YORK Anglo American
Plc has ceased operations at its majority owned Loma de Niquel
Mine following the expiration of its remaining mining
concessions and permits granted by the Venezuelan
"The government has taken back
the leases," a company spokesman told AMM.
"We endeavored for a long time
to extend our leases," he said in an e-mail. "We have been
anticipating this for some time."
Anglo American previously said
that its three remaining concessions at the site were set to
expire Nov. 10 (
amm.com, Oct. 26). Venezuela had already canceled
13 other concessions.
Loma de Niquel, in which Anglo
American had held a 91.4-percent stake, was in operation for 12
years before the company lost its ownership in the mine. Nickel
output there totaled 13,400 tonnes in 2011, according to
London-based Anglo Americans website. Third-quarter 2012
output fell 40 percent from a year earlier to about 1,800
"In light of this situation, the
company is taking action to end its working relationship with
its employees, and will seek to wind up its operations in an
orderly fashion," it said.
The mine will likely be operated
by Venezuelas government going forward, the spokesman
The turnover at Loma could
contribute to a slowdown in global nickel output, Citigroup
director of metals research and strategy David Wilson said. At
Loma, there will be a "struggle to produce with a lack of
management expertise," he told AMM.