Canada-based Lundin Mining has started commercial production at its $400m Eagle nickel-copper mine in Michigan, US.
The company announced that construction activities are now complete and the project has been delivered on-budget and ahead of schedule.
Lundin Mining president and CEO Paul Conibear said: “We are extremely proud of the tremendous achievement that has been accomplished at the Eagle Mine.
“The Eagle Mine is a significant new, high-quality, low-cost mine, that has been constructed to the highest of safety, environmental and social responsibility standards.
“Our team has done an exemplary job in bringing the mine into production and we look forward to the operation becoming a significant cashflow generator for the company and a significant contributor to the local and regional economy.”
The company expects Eagle mine to produce an average of around 23,000t of nickel concentrate a year and around 20,000t of copper concentrate a year over the first three years of operation.
Lundin plans to ship the first saleable copper and nickel concentrates from the mine during the first half of October this year and is expected to reach full design rates in the second quarter of 2015.
The mine’s current truck hauling rate is approximately 1,500t of ore a day from mine to the mill. It is further upgrading the roads to enable full production rate ore hauling.
Lundin is also in the process of shipping the saleable nickel and copper concentrates by rail, which is expected to occur in the first half of this October.