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Elisabeth Behrmann, Dow Jones Newswires | July 01, 2008

ALBIDON’S Zambian nickel sulfide project has produced its first concentrate, the company said today.

The Australian nickel developer is also expected to reach output capacity of 10,000 to 15,000 metric tonnes by early 2009.

The concentrate will be stockpiled before shipment to China’s Jinchuan Group, Albidon’s life-of-mine offtake partner.

The Munali project produced first ore in January, two months ahead of schedule, and first concentrate output met the company’s original schedule with cash flow starting in August.

Shares in Melbourne-based Albidon (ASX: ALB: quote) have performed strongly since the start of the year as the company made the transition from developer to producer, and also because of rising speculation of a takeover bid.

Shares at midday trading today were down 2.83 per cent, or 12c, to $4.12. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was 0.97 per cent lower.

Major shareholder Lion Selection announced in May plans to sell its 20.5 per cent stake in Albidon, formally placing the $700 million company in play, but Lion’s managing director Robin Widdup this week said talks were still ongoing.