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First Quantum Minerals has set its production guidance for the previously mothballed Ravensthorpe mine in Western Australia.

The company targets a nickel production of 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes from Ravensthorpe this year.

This is estimated to climb to 25,000 to 28,000 tonnes in 2021 and set to be maintained through to 2022.

First Quantum restarted operations at the Ravensthorpe mine this month with MACA appointed as the open pit mining contractor.

Works under the contract include drilling and blasting, and loading and hauling.

“Production at Ravensthorpe is expected to ramp up through 2020,” First Quantum president G. Clive Newall said.

“In the first two full years of production, 2021 and 2022, C1 (net direct cash cost) and all-in sustaining cost costs are expected to be between $C4.60–$4.80 ($5.14–$5.36) per pound and $C5.10–$C5.40 per pound respectively.”

First Quantum has planned Ravensthorpe’s restart operations and refurbished its atmospheric leach reactors since the March quarter of last year.

The Canadian-based company originally bought the nickel mine from BHP for $US340 million in 2011 after it was shut down in 2009.

Under First Quantum’s management, the Ravensthorpe mine, again ceased operations in October 2017 due to market challenges and has since been placed on care and maintenance.