The FINANCIAL — According to RIA Novosti, Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel announced on February 16 it was suspending nickel production at its Black Swan and Lake Johnston sites in Western Australia amid falling world nickel prices.
"Today's announcement is largely the result of the prevailing economic climate and its impact on the nickel price. These Western Australian assets are located in prime nickel producing regions and have the potential for further exploration; however market and other conditions have left the Australian business unsustainable given current metal prices," the metals giant said in a statement.
The Black Swan and Lake Johnston nickel enterprises are run by Norilsk Nickel International, a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel. In 2008, they produced about 25,000 metric tons of nickel in concentrate, the statement said.
"The total workforce at these operations will be reduced by approximately 330 employees by March 2009. A small number of staff will be retained to manage the sites under care and maintenance," the statement said.
"The company is committed to providing full entitlements to those employees whose roles are now redundant and where possible, will assist in identifying alternative employment opportunities," Norilsk Nickel said.
Norilsk Nickel is Russia's largest diversified mining and metals company, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, and one of the world's largest producers of platinum, rhodium, copper and cobalt.