NEW YORK First Nickel
Inc. expects its Lockerby Mine in Ontario to reach its full
production rate of 10 million pounds of nickel per year by the
end of the first quarter after a "shortfall in production" in
the fourth quarter of 2012, it said.
The Toronto-based company
produced about 5.8 million pounds of payable nickel and 4.6
million pounds of payable copper in 2012, having commenced
commercial production July 1, it said, noting that nickel
production represented 90 percent of its 2012 guidance, while
the copper figure was at the lower end of its 2012 guidance.
The company also shipped about 205,000 tonnes of Lockerby ore
to Xstrata Plc in 2012.
fourth-quarter shortfall was due to "slower-than-planned
development preparation and unplanned rehabilitation work on
the main ramp" at Lockerby, in northern Ontarios Sudbury
Basin, the company said.
"Challenges presented themselves
in the fourth quarter of 2012, resulting in a reduced
production rate, which delayed full production to the first
quarter of 2013 and impacted the companys working capital
and liquidity positions," First Nickel president and chief
executive officer Thomas Boehlert said in a statement.
The company expects to be at or
near its full annual production rate of 10 million pounds of
nickel and 7 million pounds of copper after the first quarter,
The delays have "resulted in the
need for higher-than-originally-planned capital expenditures
for development in 2013," First Nickel added. "As a result, the
company plans to source approximately (Canadian) $15 million
($15.01 million) of additional capital to complete the proposed
development project as planned and is considering a number of
potential financing alternatives."