NORTHERN QUEBEC - XSTRATA NICKEL has presented a cheque for Cdn$16.7 million to the MAKIVIK CORPORATION, representing its share of the profits generated in 2006 by the Raglan nickel mine operation, located in the Nunavik Territory of Northern Quebec.
This yearly profit-sharing is part of the Raglan Agreement, a comprehensive agreement signed in 1995 with Makivik and local Inuit communities. The agreement is designed to harmonize relations and foster opportunities between Xstrata Nickel and local populations and their representatives in areas such as training, hiring of local businesses and environmental management.
Pita Aatami, president of Makivik Corp., stated: "This year's profit-sharing will be again put to good use in developing economic and training opportunities, which will contribute to the well-being of Inuit communities." Ian Pearce, CEO of Xstrata Nickel, said, "The Raglan Agreement has set solid foundations for developing mining activities in Nunavik, while contributing to the population's quality of life and protection of the environment. [It] has been instrumental in building and strengthening relationships with our partners in Nunavik."
Xstrata Nickel's Raglan mining camp was constructed at a cost of $600 million and began production in 1997. In 2007, capital investments include $45 million to refurbish existing wharf facilities and $50 million to expand accommodation facilities. The operation consists of three underground and one open pit nickel mines and a concentrator. Approximately 550 employees and 250 subcontractors work at Raglan. The mine site is linked by all-weather roads to an airstrip at Donaldson and to ship-loading facilities at Deception Bay. The ore from the mine is crushed, ground and treated at the Raglan mill to produce a nickel-copper concentrate. Milling capacity is 3,000 tonnes/day. Nickel capacity at the concentrator now stands at 26,000 tonnes of nickel-in-concentrate per year.