NEWS RELEASE: Koniambo Nickel completes construction of first production line and readies for first molten metal by year end Koné, 23 November 2012

Xstrata Nickel, the industrial partner in the Koniambo Nickel Project, is pleased to announce that the construction of the first production line of the smelter (Line 1) is complete. The necessary support services and operational infrastructure are undergoing pre-operational testing and commissioning. First molten metal is expected before year end and we anticipate the first metal being tapped from Line 1 in January 2013.

Ian Pearce, Chief Executive of Xstrata Nickel, said: “We are very excited about the progress being made at Koniambo, including the successful delivery of Line 1. It is a testament to our dedicated project and operation teams at Koniambo Nickel that we can now focus on moving to first production.

“Our journey to this point has been a long and complex one, but Koniambo Nickel is finally close to becoming a reality and bringing mutual benefit to all the stakeholders who have a keen interest in its success. I am proud of the role Xstrata has played in making Koniambo Nickel a reality – including continuing construction throughout the global financial crisis – and the support we have received from our many partners in New Caledonia and France.”

With the completion of Line 1, the majority of our construction resources will now be devoted to the second production line, which is forecast to be complete in the second quarter of 2013. Koniambo Nickel will ramp up to a steady state annual production run rate of 60,000 tonnes of nickel in ferronickel within two years, by the end of 2014.

Koniambo Nickel’s mine is already operating with the geological integrity of our resource forecasts intact. The ore-preparation plant and overland conveyer are in operation and the team is working to ensure we have 30,000 tons of on-spec ore ready for the metallurgical plant by the end of the year.

End

Neither the content of the company’s website nor the content of any other website accessible from hyperlinks on the company’s website is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement

Xstrata Nickel New Caledonia:

Antonin Beurrier
Telephone +687 25 56 71
Mobile +687 76 73 03
Email abeurrier@xstratanickel.nc

Xstrata Nickel contact:
Peter Fuchs
Telephone +1 416 775 1523
Mobile +1 416 305 9273
Email pfuchs@xstratanickel.ca

Notes to Editors

About Koniambo Nickel

Koniambo Nickel SAS is developing a world-class industrial complex that at peak production will make New Caledonia one of the most important nickel producers in the world. Benefitting from one of the largest and highest grade undeveloped nickel resources in the world, it will be a low-cost and long-life operation committed to sustainable development.

Once construction is complete, Koniambo Nickel will operate a mine, a pyrometallurgical nickel smelting process plant, a power plant and other complementary infrastructure, including a deep water private port and 11-km overland conveyor.
Located near the North Province capital of Koné in New Caledonia, Koniambo Nickel is a catalyst for regional development. Through the employment of 750 permanent staff and long-term relationships with local contractors and suppliers, Koniambo Nickel truly represents a unique opportunity for surrounding communities to shape their future as well as the future of the North Province and New Caledonia.

About Xstrata Nickel

Xstrata Nickel, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is one of Xstrata Group’s global commodity businesses. We operate mines and processing facilities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Australia, and a refinery in Norway. We also have a world-class portfolio of growth projects in New Caledonia, Tanzania and Brazil.

We are the world’s fourth largest nickel producer, with annual managed production of almost 106,000 tonnes of nickel. We produce some of the world’s purest nickel, ferronickel and cobalt and are one of the largest recyclers and processors of nickel and cobalt-bearing materials. Nickel-containing materials play a vital role in modern life and can be found in everything from cooking utensils, cutlery and saucepans, to medical equipment, mobile phones, wind turbines, computers, coins, and marine and aerospace engineering. For more information, visit www.xstratanickel.com.

About Xstrata plc

We are a major producer of a range of vital commodities used in everything from constructing buildings and delivering electricity, to developing jet engines and mobile phones. We are one of the top five global producers of copper, thermal and metallurgical coal, ferrochrome, zinc and nickel and we also produce silver, lead, platinum, gold, cobalt and vanadium.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Switzerland, we operate in over 20 countries and employ over 70,000 people at more than 100 operations and projects around the world. We work in a responsible and sustainable way, with an entrepreneurial spirit and dynamic approach. For more information, visit www.xstrata.com.

 

 

 

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