19/01/2009 - 09:27

BHP mulls Ravensthorpe closure: report

19/01/2009 - 09:27

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Shares in BHP Billiton have climbed higher despite a report the miner could close its Ravensthorpe nickel mine and some 700 employees may lose their jobs.

BHP mulls Ravensthorpe closure: report

BHP Billiton has declined to comment on reports that it is considering closing its Ravesnthorpe nickel mine amid a backdrop of falling commodity prices.

Spokesperson Samantha Evans told WA Business News that BHP will announce any material changes to the company's operations to the market.

Without citing any sources, The Australian newspaper reported today that BHP is anticipated to make a decision on the future of the nickel mine in the next few days.

An estimated 700 employees currently work at the mine, which two months ago suffered an impairment charge along with the Yabulu nickel projects of $US2.1 billion.

The falling nickel price has forced several mines in Western Australia to close, including Norilsk Nickel's Cawse mine and Mincor Resources' Miitel mine.

The price of nickel reached a high of some $US52,000 per tonne in May 2007 and last traded at around $US10,700/t on the London Metal Exchange.

Shares in BHP closed up 50 cents to $30.38 today.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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