MANITOBA — Production at Canada's newest nickel producer, the Bucko Lake mine belonging to Toronto's Crowflight Minerals, has been halted for three months while the ramp is completed and the backfill plant is upgraded. The mine is located near Wabowden, in the Thompson Nickel Belt.
Crowflight's executive chairman, Stan Bharti stated, "As with any new mine, Bucko has had its challenges during its first year of production. Though we have been producing nickel concentrate since the mill resumed operations in August, we have not achieved a steady-state of full capacity production at Bucko. We believe that we must apply what we have learnt from the challenges we have experienced and focus the company's financial resources and efforts on optimizing the Bucko mine so that it can deliver and sustain production of 1,000 tonnes per day by the end of the first quarter in 2010. To that end, over the next three months, Crowflight plans to complete ramp development to the 800 level; continue diamond drilling on the 500, 600 and 900 levels; commission the backfill plant; and advance development ahead of production to prepare for 2010 full production."
The company will be initially laying off approximately 45 employees temporarily, and expects to reduce fixed operating costs by $3 million. Capital expenditures for the remainder of 2009 will be between $7 million and $8 million so that full production can be reached next year.
More information is available at www.Crowflight.com.