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First Quantum to suspend Ravensthorpe nickel operations

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. said Aug. 9 that it intends to place the Ravensthorpe nickel project in Western Australia on care and maintenance beginning in September, due to low nickel prices.

The company estimates US$10 million in initial costs to place the mine on care and maintenance, with subsequent annual costs of US$5 million. Restarting operations will also cost about US$10 million.

The permitting process for the Shoemaker Levy orebody of the project will continue, together with a regular review of market conditions to determine a potential restart of operations at the project, which was restarted in 2011.