SYDNEY May 3 Xstrata will close down
its Sinclair nickel mine in Western Australia this month due to
dwindling reserves and weak global prices for the metal used to
make stainless steel.
Xstrata -- recently acquired by trading group Glencore --
had closed down its Cosmos nickel mine in September, citing
persistent weakness in metal prices that have plunged
about 50 percent from its 2011 peak above $29,000 per tonne.
Operations at the Sinclair mine, acquired as part of
Xstrata's $3.1 billion takeover of Jubilee Mines five years ago,
will cease on May 15, an Xstrata spokesman said on Friday.
The ores stockpiled at the mine will continue to be
processed into the third quarter of 2013, he added. The mine
produced 7,472 tonnes of nickel in concentrate in 2012.
The Sinclair mine is nearing the end of its forecast
operating life at a time of weak nickel prices, the spokesman
said. "The two coincided more than anything."
Since the shutdown of the Cosmos mine, also part of the
Jubilee acquisition, nickel prices have dropped a further 18
Xstrata this week was acquired by Glencore International
, which owns the Murrin Murrin nickel mine and
processing plant, also in Western Australia.