LONDON Xstrata Nickel has started metal production at its $5-billion Koniambo nickel project in the South Pacific island of New Caledonia, the company said April 11.
The project has been under construction for six years and is expected to reach full production late next year.
"We are on track to deliver the full production rate of 60,000 tonnes (annually) by the end of 2014 as scheduled, while maintaining excellence in terms of environmental and safety performance at this world-class industrial complex," chief executive officer Ian Pearce said.
Toronto-based Xstrata Nickel, part of Zug, Switzerland-based Xstrata Plc, owns 49 percent of the Koniambo project. The remaining stake is held by Société Minière du Sud Pacifique Plc, the development arm of New Caledonias North Province.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.