Thursday, September 12, 2013

Munali Nickel agrees to review mining methods
By Gift Chanda
Tue 27 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

MUNALI Nickel Mine has agreed to review its mining method to optimise profits, says mines minister Christopher Yaluma.

The country's sole nickel mine, which is scheduled to resume operations soon, was seeking ways of reducing costs after it identified complexities in tapping the ore body using its old mining methods, Yaluma said in an interview.

He explained that the mining methods which initially were being applied at the mine were wrong.

"They were wrong compared to the formation of the core ore and it was not only costly but very difficult to extract and produce as much nickel as possible to meet the targets in the initial business plan," Yaluma said.

"But other methodologies of mining will be applied once operations resumes."

Independent consultants were recently sought by Mazabuka's Munali Nickel Mine to look into the mining methods, design of the mine as well as other operational difficulties.

Underground operations at the mine have been suspended since November 2011 due to cash-flow problems caused by the low global nickel prices and operational disruptions.

Operations were halted in June 2011 after a sink hole emerged due to the mining method.

Yaluma said China's Jinchuan Mining Group, which pulled out of Munali Mine last year following a fall in metal prices, has returned and was likely to inject capital to resume output.

In 2010, Jinchuan helped revive Munali, which first halted operations in mid-2008, with an investment of about U $37 million.

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