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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: North America: October 10th 2006


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:: Construction Starts on Nickel Mill

In what may be record time, Liberty Mines of Timmins, Ont., has pushed through the permitting of its new Redstone nickel mill in only six months. Normally, it takes at least two years of planning and studies before construction can begin, said the company.

The Redstone nickel mine is located 24 km southeast of Timmins. Mine production began in May 2006 and has reached the desired rate of 200 tonnes (t) per day. The ore is being custom milled until Liberty can build its own concentrator.

Liberty has opted to build its mill with certain new equipment for its "superior technology". The list includes flotation cells, concentrate and deep cone paste thickeners, conveyors, dust collectors, various pumps, electrical equipment and a double-deck screen. To control costs, other pieces of rebuilt equipment were purchased including a Birdsboro Buchanan 20x42 jaw crusher, Metso HP400 hydraulic cone crusher, two 10x13 Dominion ball mills and a Larox hydraulic filter press. Two fine ore bins, one course ore bin and other components will be manufactured as necessary. The mill will have a nameplate capacity of 1,500 t/d.

This equipment and the buildings represent Phase 1 of the mill construction and carry an estimated $8.9-million price tag. Phase 2, the addition of 13 flotation cells and a gravity circuit in early 2007, will cost another $2.0 million. Thereafter, Liberty can make a separate platinum and palladium concentrate as well as a nickel concentrate.

The mill will treat komatiite-type nickel ores from the Shaw Dome area. The ore will come from the Redstone mine, and beginning in mid-2007, the proposed McWatters mine. More information on both of these mines is posted at www.LibertyMines.com.




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