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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: May 10th 2005


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:: Botswana Nickel Miner Reports Processing Breakthrough

At a time when the world demand for copper and nickel is escalating rapidly, a new metallurgical process is set to render the traditional smelting/refining route for these base metals redundant.

It will also enable the profitable mining of large, lower-grade deposits of these metals.

However, first one needs to backtrack on the developments of Tati Nickel Mining Company and its owner, LionOre Mining International.

In 1985 Francistown Mining and Exploration (FME) was formed to develop the Phoenix and Selkirk nickel and copper sulphide deposits some 40 km to the east of Francistown, in Botswana.

In the latter part of 1987, FME was approached by Centametall, which agreed to purchase ore from the deposits. Tati Nickel Mining Company (Tati) was formed and FME retained a substantial interest, the remainder (51%) being owned by Lexan Trading (Lexan). The Government of Botswana subsequently granted a 25-year mining licence to Tati over the deposits in November 1988.

The Selkirk deposit provided Tati with the springboard it needed to make the successful plunge into production.

Since then, Tati Nickel has progressed from being a small underground mining operation, to a small-scale openpit mining and dry magnetic concentrating operation, and on to a large-scale openpit with conventional wet concentration.

It is now on the brink of taking one further stride, through the revolutionary new Activox® process, to being a producer of refined nickel and copper.




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