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First Nickel reports $25.2 million in net earnings for 2011

First Nickel has reported net earnings of $25.2 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011.

The company delivered 23,924 tonnes of ore to Xstrata with an average nickel grade of 1.71 per cent and an average copper grade of 1.02 per cent, resulting in 901,657 pounds of payable nickel and 537,831 pounds of payable copper.

First Nickel restarted the Lockerby Mine in Sudbury last September and is currently in the pre-commercial production stage, aiming to be in commercial production by mid-2012 and full production by the end of the year.

“Activities during 2011 focused on successfully recommencing operations at the Lockerby Mine and significantly strengthening First Nickel’s management capabilities and financial resources,” said president and CEO Thomas M. Boehlert.

“First Nickel is well positioned to grow its resource base through exploration on existing properties and through the acquisition of additional advanced stage exploration, development and/or producing assets.

The company spent $35 million on developing the Lockerby project in 2011, and ended the year with $26 million in cash.

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