Elisabeth Behrmann
Article from: Dow Jones Newswires

AUSTRALIAN nickel miner Albidon will suspend its Munali nickel mine in Zambia immediately because of low metal prices.

The Perth-based miner commissioned the project last year, and produced first concentrate in July. China’s largest nickel producer Jinchuan Group has a life-of-mine off-take agreement with Albidon, and the sulphide mine was expected to produce about 10,000 tones of nickel in concentrate a year.

“Mining will be suspended. However, limited development activities may recommence so that production levels greater than 900,000 tones per year (of ore) can be readily achieved when nickel prices improve,” Albidon said in a statement.

Munali is the latest in a long list of nickel mines that have gone on care and maintenance because of the protracted downturn in commodity prices.

The most prominent mine closure so far has been BHP Billiton’s decision to suspend its 50,000-tonne-a-year Ravensthorpe mine, which like Munali was still in the ramp-up phase.

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