The Canadian company First Quantum Minerals has announced significantly higher ore reserve estimates for its Kevitsa nickel/copper/platinum-group-metals project in Finland. The new estimates show a 46% increase in the measured and indicated resource to 240 million tons, and a 50% increase in the mining reserve to 160.6 million tons.
At the planned processing rate of 5 million tons a year, this would extend the mine life to more than 30 years. First Quantum is now looking at opportunities to scale up production to between 7.5 million tons and 10 million tons a year. Commercial production is expected to start at Kevitsa in mid-2012. Construction of key infrastructure for the project is either completed or well advanced, including the access road, the incoming powerline and switchyard and the water pipeline.
The Kevitsa project is located approximately 142km north-northeast of Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland. According to First Quantum Minerals, Kevitsa’s measured and indicated resources are estimated at 240 million tons grading 0.30% nickel 0.41% copper using a nickel cut-off grade of 0.1%. The capital cost estimate of the project is estimated at USD 400 million.
Source: First Quantum Minerals