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Papua New Guinea's first nickel and cobalt project - the Ramu Nickel mine is designed to operate for twenty years, while Ramu NiCo Management officials say the 3-billion kina project has the potential to extend its life to 40 years.

According to Ramu NiCo Management's latest quarterly publication, the project is subject to a steady ramp-up.

The report says the mine should be operating near its name-plate output of over 31-thousand tonnes of nickel and over 3-thousand tonnes of cobalt as a mixed hydroxide product by mid to late this year.

The next target, scheduled for early this year, is to get the last and third autoclave load commissioned and to operate all three production lines together.

When successful, it would be a major step toward official operation and expected to reach the designed opera ting capacity in 2014.

The mine is PNG's first nickel late rite project, and places PNG as the host of the fifth largest nickel laterite mine in the world.

The project currently employs over 1-thousand people at the Kurumbukari mine, Basamuk refinery plant and its Madang office.


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