NEW YORK First Nickel Inc.s Lockerby nickel mine
in Sudbury, Ontario, will produce less nickel and copper than
previously expected due to unplanned rehabilitation work and
slower-than-expected ore source development, the company said.
Both issues have since been resolved, First Nickel said.
The companys fourth-quarter nickel production is expected
to reach 1.3 million pounds, down from a previous estimate of
2.1 million to 2.5 million pounds. Meanwhile, copper production
will reach 1 million pounds, down from previous guidance of 1.4
million to 1.6 million pounds.
It expects 2012 nickel output will reach 5.7 million pounds,
down from a previous estimate of 6.3 million to 7.4 million
pounds, and projects copper output will reach 4.5 million
pounds, the low end of a previous estimate of 4.5 million to 5
In addition, about 60,000 tonnes of ore from the mine processed
by Xstrata Nickels Strathcona facility saw
lower-than-expected ore grades and recovery, reducing nickel
production by 460,000 pounds.
An investigation into both the lower-than-predicted ore
grade and lower-than-plan(ned) recovery is in progress,
the company said, adding that both ore grades and metal
recoveries for lots processed prior to the fourth quarter
performed within an acceptable variance range.
The Toronto-based company now expects Lockerby to achieve full
production in the first quarter of 2013.