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171 COLLINS STREET MELBOURNE VIC , 3000
P: 1300 554 757 F: 03 9609 3015
www.bhpbilliton.com

MT KEITH

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About:

The Mount Keith nickel mine in Western Australia's Northern Goldfields is operated by BHP Billiton Nickel West, a fully owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton. It is an open pit operation that mines copper and cobalt as well as nickel.


Mine Workers Accommodation at Mount Keith Mine is Modern Living Brought to the Bush
The mining complex at Mount Keith includes village accommodation for its fly in fly out workforce from Perth. Some mine workers choose to drive to the mine to complete their rostered days on if they reside in reasonably close by regional areas such as Wiluna or Leinster. The village is regarded as incorporating modern living with a swimming pool, BBQ areas, movie nights and live bands.


Mount Keith Ore Body Stretches for two Kilometres
The Mount Keith ore body is generally regarded as consisting of sizable low grade disseminated nickel sulphide deposit. The nickel rich ore body extends for a distance of two kilometres. It is situated on the northern end of the 800 kilometre long Wiluna-Norseman Greenstone belt with the nickel sulphide existing as either sill or dyke like deposits.


Mount Keith Mine Still Producing After 42 years
In 1971 the Mount Keith Mine was considered to have the capacity to provide 10 percent of the world's nickel requirements and 21 years later, in 1992 it still contained 270 million tonnes of nickel sulphide ore with a grading of 0.6 percent nickel, sufficient to last another 20 years. Although 2013 has arrived the mine continues to operate albeit on a much reduced scale but this is mainly due to depressed world nickel prices and the high Australian dollar.


Low Nickel Prices Slow Mount Keith Production
In February 2012 the Mount Keith Mine was forced to drastically restructure in order for it to survive a long period of low nickel prices. Thirty jobs were slashed at the Mount Keith operation although most of the employment cut back took place at the company's Nickel West offices in Perth.
Nickel West cut the production level at the Mount Keith operation by 30 percent with the intention to keep production at this level into 2013.


Mount Keith Concentrate Taken to Kalgoorlie for Smelting
Mount Keith production began when the mine was owned by WMC Resources and was continued by BHP Billiton when it acquired the mine in 2005. At this time it was producing 11.5 million tonnes of nickel ore a year. When BHP Billiton acquired the Mount Keith Mine it also acquired the whole Nickel West operation that includes the Leinster Mine, the nickel concentrator at Kambalda, the nickel smelter at Kalgoorlie and the Kwinana nickel refinery. The nickel concentrate produced from mining at Mount Keith is initially transported by road to Leinster where it is loaded onto railway wagons to be taken to Kalgoorlie for smelting.


Nickel production figures from 2008 forward are reported as the total amount of nickel produced from all the mining sources that make up the BHP Billiton Nickel West Operation. No figures are made public regarding Mount Keith's separate contribution. The figures released in 2008 showed a nickel production of 85,800 tonnes of nickel which at the time included nickel produced at the Ravesthorpe Mine that no longer contributes to the BHP Nickel West overall production.
 

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BHP Billiton
171 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Phone13 0055 4757
fax03 9609 3015

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MT KEITH

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