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Nickel surge could breathe life back into Ravensthorpe

A surge in nickel prices has Canadian miner First Quantum considering a restart of the Western Australian mine it shuttered in October 2017.

Known as Ravensthorpe, the mine  once owned by BHP  could resume operations within a year.

First Quantum said drilling on a new deposit at Ravensthorpe would begin within weeks, and a restart looked increasingly possible.

”Initial planning for the resumption of operations at Ravensthorpe has commenced following sustained higher commodity pricing and the positive outlook for nickel longer term,” said First Quantum in a filing on Tuesday.

”Should market conditions continue to improve, Ravensthorpe could resume operations in the first quarter of 2020.”

The planning comes after nickel prices rose by close to 20 per cent between January and early April.

Prices for the metal are notoriously volatile and have fallen by about 7 per cent over the past four weeks to be fetching $US5.37 per pound on Tuesday.

That price was very close to the $US5.29 per pound ”all in sustaining cost of production” achieved by Ravensthorpe in 2017. Read more…

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