Canadian Mining Journal

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NICKEL DEVELOPMENT: Ambatovy hits permit snag

MADAGASCAR – Sherritt International of Toronto is pressing forward toward commercial production at the Ambatovy laterite nickel project of which it owns 40%. But, says the company, reaching commercial production may be delayed as the...



MADAGASCAR – Sherritt International of Toronto is pressing forward toward commercial production at the Ambatovy laterite nickel project of which it owns 40%. But, says the company, reaching commercial production may be delayed as the authorities in Madagascar have not yet issued the operating permit.

Said Sherritt: “The issuance of the operating permit is based on compliance with technical, health and safety, and environmental protection requirements. Ambatovy believes it has satisfied all of the requirements established to date for the operating permit. However, the transitional government in Madagascar has advised Ambatovy that it is continuing its review of the project. Ambatovy is in the process of determining the timing and content of this review. This review or other government actions may delay receipt of the Operating Permit, and as a consequence, Ambatovy may face delays in entering commercial operations.”

The project is slated to reach commercial production (70% of mixed sulphides capacity) by early 2013. Ambatovy is designed to produce 60,000 t/y of nickel and 5,600 t/y of cobalt.

Total capital costs are expected to remain within the US$5.5 billion estimate. Visit Ambatovy.com to learn more. The project is owned 40% by Sherritt, 27.5% by Sumitomo, 27.5% by Korea Resources, and 5% by SNC-Lavalin.