Xstrata’s Raglan Nickel Sees Growth in Resources

Xstrata Nickel reported that exploration results at its Raglan operation in northern Quebec have confirmed Zone 5-8 as the largest mineralized zone in Raglan’s history, adding an estimated 4.5 million mt of inferred resources in 2007, up from the 2 million mt of resources previously announced.

In August, Xstrata Nickel announced plans to increase mine production at Raglan to over 2 million mt/y of ore. Work is currently under way to increase production to 1.3 million mt/y by the end of 2008 and additional infrastructure is expected to be implemented to allow a further expansion to reach 1.5 million mt by 2011 and potentially double current production by 2013. After the expansion, Raglan will be one of the largest nickel mines in the world, with output approaching 50,000 mt of contained nickel-in-concentrate per annum, together with copper and platinum group metal (PGM) by-products.

According to the company, Zone 5-8 now contains proven and probable mineral reserves of 800,000 mt at 3.02% nickel and 0.80% copper, measured and indicated mineral resources of 400,000 mt at 1.30% nickel and 0.35% copper, and inferred mineral resources of 11.5 million mt at 3% nickel and 0.8% copper.

Ian Pearce, Xstrata Nickel CEO, said “We will invest over $200 million in further exploration activity at Raglan over the next five years to ensure we continue to realize the full potential of this exceptional property for the benefit of our shareholders and local stakeholders in the operation.”

As featured in Womp 07 Vol 9 - www.womp-int.com