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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: North America: March 27th 2003


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:: Inco Limited Completes Bankable Feasibility Study for Mine/Concentrator as Part of Initial Phase of Voisey's Bay Project

Inco Limited has announced that, based upon the results of its recently completed bankable feasibility study for the mine, concentrator and related facilities, it plans to proceed with the initial phase of the Voisey’s Bay project.

Based upon the results of the study, the estimated total capital cost for the mine and 6,000-tonne per-day concentrator and related facilities (Mine/Concentrator) will be $582 million, including $35 million spent since July 2002 on infrastructure and related work.

The initial phase of the Voisey’s Bay project will also involve a major research and development program covering hydrometallurgical processing technologies (Hydromet R&D Program) for the treatment of the Voisey’s Bay nickel and cobalt-containing concentrates to be produced into finished nickel and cobalt product, including the demonstration plant to be constructed in Argentia, Newfoundland. The Hydromet R&D Program is expected to cost approximately $134 million or about 14 per cent above the initial estimate for this program.

In addition to the Mine/Concentrator and Hydromet R&D Program, the initial phase will include handling facilities to be constructed at the Company’s Canadian operations for the nickel and cobalt-containing concentrates to be processed over the 2006 - 2011 period once the Mine/Concentrator and the demonstration plant are in operation.

Over its planned life, the Voisey’s Bay project is expected to have annual production of about 110 million pounds of nickel, 85 million pounds of copper and five million pounds of cobalt. The next or second phase of the project will include a commercial hydrometallurgical processing facility or, in the unlikely event that such a facility would not be technically or economically feasible, a conventional refinery, to be in operation in the Province by the end of 2011 to produce refined nickel and cobalt product from the nickel and cobalt-containing concentrates produced at the Mine/Concentrator. The third phase of the project will involve the development of the underground deposits at Voisey’s Bay with the objective of extending the project life.




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