FQM extends new Ravensthorpe deposit to produce nickel and cobalt for next two decades

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Western Australia’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston has officially opened First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Shoemaker-Levy mine at the company’s Ravensthorpe nickel-cobalt operations.

The Ravensthorpe facility is a laterite nickel operation. It produces some 30,000 tonnes per annum of a mixed nickel-cobalt hydroxide intermediate product, which is used in the production of nickel sulphate – a key material used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

The Ravensthorpe operations support around 650 jobs, with the new orebody expected to extend the mine’s life by at least 20 years.

Three of the operation’s 18 megawatt steam turbines use waste heat from the mine’s production process to generate power.

Minister Johnston congratulated FQM on the opening of the new Shoemaker-Levy mine.

“Ravensthorpe has felt the impact of a volatile nickel market in previous years but since 2020 nickel prices have trended upwards because of the increasing global production of batteries,” Mr Johnston said.

“This new mine will add decades to the life of this rejuvenated operation, securing jobs and strengthening the McGowan Government’s vision for WA’s future battery industry strategy.”

Image credit: https://www.first-quantum.com/English/about-us/default.aspx