26 September 2012

Xstrata to suspend operations at Cosmos nickel mine in Western Australia, Cut around 150 positions

Perth - 26 September 2012 - Xstrata Nickel Australasia (“XNA”) will suspend operations at Cosmos mine in Western Australia and initiate a care and maintenance schedule in response to adverse market conditions, including a prolonged period of low nickel prices and a strong Australian dollar. 

Consequently, it will reduce total employee numbers at XNA by approximately 150 positions, comprising permanent employees and contractors. 

Evaluation of the newly-discovered Odysseus, Odysseus North and Odysseus Massive deposits at Cosmos continues, with a view to completing a feasibility study by the first quarter of 2014 to enable an investment decision, dependent upon market conditions. The Sinclair Nickel Operation, approximately 100 kilometres south of Cosmos, is unaffected and continues to operate at normal capacity. Sinclair is expected to produce approximately 7,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate this year. 

Cosmos first produced concentrate in April 2000. Since then, more than 2.9 million tonnes of ore have been successfully mined at Cosmos to produce 127,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, including an estimated 4,200 tonnes year-to-date in 2012. 

Xstrata is a major producer of a range of vital commodities. It is one of the top five global producers of copper, thermal and metallurgical coal, ferrochrome, zinc and nickel and it also produces silver, lead, platinum, gold, cobalt and vanadium. 

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Switzerland, Xstrata operates in over 20 countries and employs over 70,000 people at more than 100 operations and projects around the world. 

Xstrata Nickel, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is one of Xstrata Group’s global commodity businesses. It operates mines and processing facilities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Australia, and a refinery in Norway. It also has a world-class portfolio of growth projects in New Caledonia, Tanzania and Brazil. It is the world’s fourth largest nickel producer, with annual managed production of almost 106,000 tonnes of nickel. 

Source: Xstrata