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First Nickel exceeds output goal but logs loss in 1st qtr.

Keywords: Tags  First Nickel, nickel production, copper production, earnings report, Lockerby Mine, Thomas Boehlert

NEW YORK — First Nickel Inc. produced an estimated 2.7 million pounds of payable nickel from its flagship Lockerby Mine in Ontario during the first quarter, up sharply from 1.2 million pounds in the same period last year and surpassing its goal of about 2.5 million pounds.

The mine, which achieved its full, targeted annualized production rate of 10 million pounds of payable nickel in April (, April 18), also produced about 1.8 million pounds of payable copper in the first three months of the year, the Toronto-based junior miner said, up from 900,000 pounds a year earlier.

"Attaining full production in the first quarter at the Lockerby Mine marks a significant achievement for the company and, coupled with the completion of the refinancing, sets the stage to move the company forward," president and chief executive officer Thomas M. Boehlert said in a statement.

The company, which completed a debt restructuring earlier this year, is targeting full-year production of between 9 million and 10 million pounds of payable nickel and 6.1 million to 6.7 million pounds of payable copper.

"Recognizing the challenging metal price environment, the company is actively identifying opportunities to reduce expenditures and ensure that Lockerby’s full potential is realized," Boehlert said.

First Nickel posted a first-quarter net loss of Canadian $895,415 ($882,000), down from a C$2.5-million loss in the same period last year, on sales of nearly C$26.8 million ($26.37 million).

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