Quadra FNX inks deal to use Xstrata Nickel’s Craig Mine infrastructure
Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. has announced an agreement with Xstrata Nickel to utilize the latter’s Craig Mine shaft and related underground infrastructure to further develop and operate its Levack Mine, including the Morrison deposit.Quadra FNX expects that the use of Xstrata Nickel’s Craig infrastructure will significantly improve the operational flexibility of the Morrison deposit and provide additional mining and drill access in the lower portions of this high-grade orebody. The additional development and improved efficiency is expected to have a positive impact on production.The Craig shaft is about 1,525 metres deep and is connected to the Morrison deposit on the 4000 Level. The deposit is also accessible from a ramp from the Levack No.2 shaft on 2650 Level. Quadra FNX will be able to increase hoisting capacity to 450,000 tonnes per year and decrease the development timeline for the Morrison deposit.“The access arrangement with Xstrata Nickelprovides mutual benefits to both parties going forward,” said Blythe. “We will be advancing the implementation plan in order to shift operations from the Levack #2 shaft to the Craig shaft immediately. This will be a significant step forward in the optimization of our high-grade Morrison deposit.”Meanwhile, Quadra FNX reported a production increase of nine per cent for the three months ending September 30th, totalling 60 million pounds of copper, 26,000 ounces of total precious metals and three million pounds of nickel.
“This is our strongest quarter since 2009, driven by Robinson (in Nevada) and continuing strong performance from our Sudbury operations,” said Quadra FNX president Paul Blythe.
“With approximately US$1.0 billion dollars in cash we remain comfortably positioned to weather the current downturn in the copper price. We will continue to develop Sierra Gorda and Victoria (in Sudbury) and to increase operating flexibility, so that we are well positioned to take advantage of the higher copper prices that we believe will inevitably return.”
In Sudbury, copper production at all three operations continues to be at or above expectations. The company delivered approximately 55,000 tonnes of contact nickel ore from McCreedy West to Xstrata, which was milled in August as a trial lot. Discussions with Xstrata for the treatment of additional ore are ongoing. The company continues to mine this material and the 2012 business plan includes the mining and shipment of McCreedy West nickel ores, providing nickel prices are favourable.
The company expects 2011 consolidated copper production to be at the lower end of its previously stated guidance range of 240 million pounds plus or minus 10 per cent.
Tagged Canada, Craig Mine, Craig shaft, Falconbridge Ltd., FNX, Greater Sudbury, Mining, Nickel, Northern Ontario, Ontario, Quadra FNX, Quadra FNX Mining Ltd., Sudbury, Sudbury mining, Xstrata, Xstrata Nickel