Regional Development Minister John Bowler today applauded Western Areas NL on the opening of the company’s $40million Flying Fox nickel mine.
Mr Bowler said the continued expansion of nickel mining in the Forrestania belt south-west of Kalgoorlie Boulder and east of Hyden was good news for regional Western Australia.
“Flying Fox mine will initially employ 60 people on site and, during stage one, is expected to produce up to 6,000 tonnes of nickel annually,” he said.
“Better still, it is the first stage of a proposed development program, that could include another two mines and a new treatment plant, with a total lifespan of more than 10 years.
“This activity will create valuable employment and business opportunities in surrounding communities and the company is enthusiastic about sourcing labour, services and supplies locally, where possible.
“It is also pleasing to see Western Areas, a new, relatively small, exploration-focused resource company, enter WA’s nickel market where five companies currently account for 90 per cent of output.
“Expected growth in global demand for nickel presents an opportunity for the company to establish itself as an important player.”
The Minister said nickel was now WA’s second most valuable mineral product after iron ore, with output having risen 230 per cent since 1994 and 2004 production of 177,029 tonnes, valued at more than $3.2billion.
“Royalties from resource activity are vital in enabling the Gallop Government to provide jobs, opportunities and improved services for Western Australians wherever they live,” he said.
“WA’s production at 14 per cent of world nickel output, is equal second with Canada and only just behind Russia on 22 per cent.
“With 22.7 million tonnes of contained nickel in measured and indicated resources and another 13.4 million tonnes in inferred resources, WA has considerable expansion potential.
“Global demand for nickel has grown considerably in recent years and prices have reached cyclical highs of approximately US$16,000 per tonne.”
Minister's office: 9213 6500