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The Swiss owned Xstrata Nickel mining company operates the Sinclair Nickel Mine, located 100 kilometres south of its larger operation, Cosmos, in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Three hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie. However, owing to a fall in the world nickel price and the continuing strong Australia dollar in late 2012, it was the Cosmos operation that was closed with the smaller Sinclair Mine surviving.

Sinclair is Sited on a Multi-Mineral Deposit
A multi-mineral deposit was discovered at Sinclair in late 2005 and project evaluation, interpretation and resource drilling was quickly carried out to prove the level of resource contained at the site. This resulted in the project approval being granted in late 2007 with construction starting in December 2007.

A Greenfield Project
The Sinclair development was a 'greenfield' project, in that it had to start from scratch with no other mining operation ever having taken place at the site previously. Although this is often advantageous as it allows for fresh modern type planning, it also meant that all facilities needed at a contemporary mine site had to be created such as:
An all weather airstrip
An accommodation village
A reliable water supply
An up to date communication system
An ore processing plant
A workshop
An open pit mine
An underground mine

The First Sinclair Mine Concentrate Produced in October 2008
The first concentrate produced at the Sinclair Mine occurred in October 2008 as a result of concentrator optimisation taking place at the time. The open pit was finished and ready to start production in the latter half of 2009 but because the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was at its height at the same time it was decided to defer further work on the underground operation until market conditions improved. The GFC was also responsible for the Sinclair Mine becoming a satellite operation using the infrastructure and available capacity of the Cosmos Mine in an effort to lower overhead costs.

Xstrata - the Worlds Fourth Biggest Nickel Producer
Xstrata had acquired both the Cosmos and Sinclair Mines when it took over Jubilee Mines in February, 2008. It is the worlds fourth biggest nickel producer with its headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Macmahon Holding was awarded the contract to develop and operate the Sinclair Nickel Project on behalf of Jubilee Mines with an initial four year contracts.

Sinclair Mine Processing Plant
The Sinclair Mine is 81 kilometres west of Leonora in outback Western Australia. It has a processing plant capable of treating 300,000 tonnes of ore a year that allows it to produce nickel concentrate. The plant has been designed to handle an initial supergene ore blend with allowances made for subsequent primary ore blend processing. The blended ore is processed via the traditional crushing and grinding process.
Blended ore is processed through a conventional crushing and grinding circuit followed by sequential flotation of nickel. The ROM ore pad facilitates the blending process before the ore reaches the processing plant. The plant involves a ROM (run-of-mine) ore storage and a crushed ore stockpile, a SAG (semi-autogeneous-grinding) mill that uses grinding balls to facilitate grinding as in a ball mill, flotation, regrinding of concentrate, thickening of concentrate, filtration, storage, thickening of tailings, disposal to waste and water return. It also incorporates mixing of a reagent, storage and finally, distribution. This plant was completed by GR Engineering in October 2008.

Xstrata Nickel

Xstrata Nickel is the 4th largest nickel producer, with an annual production of nickel being around 106,000 tonnes. With operations in various countries but have mining projects in Western Australia including the Sinclair and Cosmos underground mines.


Xstrata Nickel
Level 3, 24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA 6005



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Macmahon has a contract role at sinclair

Macmahon is a large full service Australian mining company, with mining contracts both above ground and below, operating since 1963. Macmahon won its first mining contract in 1967 for excavation works at Nobles Nob Gold Mines at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. In 1983 with more than 1000 ...Read More


Level 3, 27-31 Troode St
West Perth, WA 6987

PO Box 198
Cannington, WA 6987


Phone08 9232 1000
fax08 9232 1001

More info about Macmahon

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