Madagascar signs operating permit for Ambatovy mine -govt

ANTANANARIVO, Sept 13 Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35am EDT

ANTANANARIVO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Madagascar has signed an operating permit allowing Canada's Sherritt International Corp and partners to begin production at the Ambatovy nickel mine, its government said on Thursday.

"The government has signed the permit. Mining can begin. The rest depends on their planning," Mines Minister Daniella Rajo Randriafeno told Reuters.

The $5.5 billion joint venture project is set to be one of the largest nickel mines in the world, producing 60,000 tonnes of refined nickel annually for the next three decades.

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