Australian nickel growth

The introduction of alternate processing technology and a regional programme of project development and exploration are at the centre of WMC’s recently announced nickel growth strategy. In an address to the Australian-British Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne today, WMC CEO Andrew Michelmore outlined opportunities to increase nickel production by 25,000 tonnes per annum from 2008/09. “The extra production will come from the development of a new processing route to treat current and future stockpiles of talc and low grade ores at Mt Keithâ€?, Mr Michelmore said. “A new milling circuit will be combined with the application of Low Pressure Leach technology to treat over 110,000t of nickel already in stockpiles.â€? Pilot plant trials for the new nickel leach circuit at Mt Keith are underway in the USA. Product from the leach circuit will be fed directly to expanded capacity at WMC’s Kwinana nickel refinery or sold as a high value intermediate product. The testwork and associated engineering studies for the concentrator and leach circuit project will be completed in time for construction in 2006.

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