NEW CALEDONIA The Phase 2 review of the Goro nickel development, in which Toronto-based INCO LTD. holds 85%, continues to push back the project schedule. The review was undertaken in December 2002, when work at Goro was suspended. Phase 2 of the study is expected to be complete late this summer. Assuming a decision to restart the project were made in October 2004, commissioning of the process plant would start in early 2007, according to the company.
High capital cost estimates forced suspension of the Goro project and a thorough review. Phase 2 of the study includes the development of an updated project cost control estimate, an updated project schedule, an optimized scope and execution plan, a value improvement program, and more engineering work. Capital costs are now roughly estimated to be US$1.85 billion. The footprint of the processing plant has been reduced by 50% to save building costs. Changes have been made to the flowsheet to trim production costs. The nameplate annual capacity has also been upped to 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,100 tonnes of cobalt.
The Goro presentation made by Inco on May 25 can be heard at www.inco.com by clicking on the Latest Presentations link.