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P: 08 9334 7777 F: 08 9486 7866


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Flying Fox mine produces high grade nickel from its underground mine; in fact, it produces some of the highest grades of nickel globally. Flying Fox mine is currently owned and managed by the company Western Areas, which is an Australian nickel producer with projects around Australia, as well as around Finland and Canada. Their headquarters are in Perth, and their Australian production centres on two major underground mines, Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll. Both these mines are situated in the company’s “Forrestania” project area, which lies about 400 kilometres to the east of Perth. Flying Fox was the company’s first production mine in this area.

Western Areas began production at Flying Fox in 2006, and has developed the mine to depths of more than one kilometre underground. Its orebody spreads from 250 metres below the surface to around 1.2 kilometres underground, with areas that may well extend further.

Between 1992 and 1997, the original Flying Fox mine was owned and operated by the company Outokumpu, a Finnish company that worked the mine to a depth of 200 metres. Western Areas bought the mine site and discovered the vast orebody lying beneath the site of the original mine. Flying Fox has since become one of its major mines in terms of both production and profitability.

The main stoping method used by Western Acres to extract the ore is the long hole method. This is a mining method used when the orebody is situated in strong rock that will not cave in around the mined area. This method is similar to quarrying, except that it is done underground. Long hole stoping is one of the lowest cost methods, which is why the Flying Fox mine is one of the most profitable nickel mines, since it produces high grade and very valuable nickel without very high production costs. In the narrow areas of the orebody, manual air-leg techniques are used, as these allow miners to penetrate into narrow sections without causing damage to surrounded rocks.

While Flying Fox is one of its core business focuses, Western Areas is continuing to look for other ore bodies of as high a grade as Flying Fox. In 2011 the company reported that it believes there are more major and high quality deposits underneath the current mine, which the mine could extend into. After carrying out drilling exploration, the company announced that it had found reserves that would add a further six to 10 years to the mine.

As of January 2013, the company also reported the discovery of promising nickel sulphide deposits close to Flying Fox that are remarkably similar in positioning to the original mine, and have the potential of producing a significantly high grade orebody that may match the Flying Fox production quality.

As of 2012, Flying Fox was breaking its own production records during the fourth quarter of the financial year. Its production over the year averaged out to 18,533 tonnes of nickel, which made a major contribution to the 31,102 tonnes of nickel output that Western Acres had for the year. While this fell just short of the 2010/2011 production of 32,222 tonnes, it was still an encouraging number. The company plans to increase its output to 35,000 tonnes per year with the extended production capabilities that were taking effect as of the start of 2011.

Western Areas Ltd

Encorporated in 1999, Western Areas Ltd is a leading nickel producer with high grade projects in Western Australia.Their flagship project is the Forrestania in WA, which consists of high grade nickel mines Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll.Production of the underground Flying Fox mine commenced in more


Western Areas Ltd
Level 2, 2 Kings Park Road
West Perth, WA 6005

PO BOX 1891
West Perth, WA 6872


Phone08 9334 7777
fax08 9486 7866

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