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Zimbabwean nickel mines close

One of BNC’s
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 November 2008 – The Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) – an integrated nickel mine, smelter and refinery operation in Zimbabwe – has announced a board decision to place the Trojan and Shangani mines on care and maintenance with immediate effect.

 Making this announcement here, Mwana Africa plc – the majority shareholder in BNC and an AIM-listed, pan-African resources company which is African-owned and managed – said the smelter and refinery operations would be placed on care and maintenance once stocks had been depleted.

The announcement added that discussions with stakeholders were continuing to put in place measures to mitigate the effects of declining nickel prices, low production levels, unfavourable exchange rates and periodic power blackouts, which had undermined the viability of BNC’s operations.

It said the company’s priorities were to retain and maintain the critical infrastructure and skills required to allow a return to production as and when more favourable conditions returned, and to mitigate the impact of these actions on BNC’s employees, suppliers, and the communities in which BNC operated.

“Mwana is providing support to the management of BNC in their efforts to achieve these objectives,” the announcement continued. “BNC is also, with Mwana’s support, investigating the potential for its smelter and refinery operations to resume production using third party feedstock, under existing and additional toll contracts.

The Shangani and Trojan mines have a combined treatment capacity of 2.1 Mtpa, current smelter capacity is 17 000 tpa, and the refinery’s capacity is 14 500 tpa.