Gaborone, Botswana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 December 2008 – The recent fall in global metal prices has forced the world’s largest nickel miner, Norilsk Nickel International, to consider an urgent operational review of its Tati nickel mine operations in Botswana.
“We have been affected by the global financial crisis and the fall in metal prices in particular,” said Tati Nickel manager for organisational capability, Peter Meswele.
Tati nickel mine – which recovers copper, nickel and cobalt – is located a few kilometres west of Francistown.
Mother company Norilsk Nickel International recently warned of the likelihood of cutting production at its non-Russian assets, including Tati nickel mine. Nickel is currently trading at about one-fifth of its record price of US$51,800 per tonne reached last May.
“We are busy toying around with cost reduction strategies and other means of reducing costs,” Meswele said. “We will want interventions to be put in place to make sure that we survive.”
Tati nickel mine employees have been warned of possible job losses. Management has also halted a possible resumption of mining at Selkirk mine, south of Phoenix mine.
“It has been concluded that the Selkirk operation will only resume after the end of the life of Phoenix mine, otherwise known as the Tati nickel mine," Meswele continued.