First Nickel Inc. announced that its Lockerby Mine in Sudbury, Canada will be in full production by the end of 2012.
Toronto-based First Nickel said production it expects to produce 6.3 million to 7.4 million lbs of nickel in 2012, the Sudbury Star reported.
“We have recommenced production at Lockerby and expect the mine to be in full production later this year,” chief executive Thomas Boehlert said in a release.
“In addition to Lockerby, we are continuing exploration activities at our other Ontario properties and seek to add to our base metal portfolio through acquisitions of promising exploration properties and operating mines.”
First Nickel said it hopes to be at or near the full production rate of 10 million lbs of nickel a year in the fourth quarter.
The company estimated it total cash production costs at $56.2 million to $61.4 million. Capital expenditures for 2012 are expected to be $16.2 million.
In 2011, First Nickel said it shipped 21.7 kt (24,000 st) of ore from Lockerby to Xstrata Nickel in the fourth quarter.
Lockerby is a former Falconbridge (now Xstrata) mine that First Nickel acquired the rights to in 2004, with the goal of bringing it back into production.
Falconbridge opened the Lockerby mine in 1976 and operated it until September 2004 when it closed.
Three years ago, First Nickel suspended operations at Lockerby because of low metals prices and weak demand, putting 150 people out of work.