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MEI Online: People News: Africa: October 18th 2004


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:: Mintek GM to Lead Shevchenko Nickel Development Team

Dr Nic Barcza, Mintek's General Manager: Business Development and Technology Commercialisation, has been appointed to the Board of London-based Oriel Resources plc as Executive Director of Technology.

He will lead the team that will be progressing the Schevchenko nickel project in northern Kazakhstan through the definititive feasibility study phase. He has also been responsible for the evaluation and promotion of Mintek's DC arc pyrometallurgical process for the project. In his new role he will be also looking at various approaches to ensure that Oriel Resources has the most attractive possible project.

Oriel's Executive Chairman Dr Sergey V Kurzin said: "Having Dr Barcza as a member of our team will substantially increase the credibility of the project and give additional confidence to our investors as we progress to a bankable definitive feasibility study."

Oriel recently successfully completed a preliminary feasibility study on the Shevchenko project, which was managed by Mintek in conjunction with Bateman Metals Ltd, GBM Minerals Engineering Consultants (UK), and Wardell Armstrong International (UK). The bankable feasibility study is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2005.

Nic Barcza is an internationally recognised specialist in ferro-alloy technology As well as being Mintek's General Manager: Business Development and Technology Commercialisation, he is CEO of Mindev (Pty) Ltd, Mintek's wholly-owned commercial subsidiary. He is a past-President and Honorary Life Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and has served on several academic advisory Boards.

During the 1980s, Nic managed a major programme of ferroalloy technology development work that led to the successful commercial implementation of DC arc technology for the direct smelting of ferrochromium from chromite ore fines. DC technology has since been successfully extended to a number of other industrial projects, including ilmenite smelting, cobalt recovery from slags, and the production of nickel-containing ferroalloys.

Nic said: "I am delighted to be joining the Oriel Resources team. I see the opportunity to apply Mintek's ferronickel technology as offering the project a major competitive advantage compared with other nickel projects that are in the development pipeline. The Shevchenko project has the potential of significantly lower capital and operating costs than most greenfield nickel projects under consideration. Oriel Resources has already demonstrated that it can progress the project very rapidly, and this fast-track approach should result in near-term commercial operations under favourable market conditions."




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