Minara completes $100m shutdown

05/12/2007 - 15:19

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Minara Resources Ltd has successfully completed the largest and most comprehensive shutdown in the company's history at the Murrin Murrin nickel and cobalt project.

Minara completes $100m shutdown

Minara Resources Ltd has successfully completed the largest and most comprehensive shutdown in the company's history at the Murrin Murrin nickel and cobalt project.

The plant recommenced full operation last weekend, immediately achieving its target production rate of 100 tonnes of nickel per day.

In addition to completing statutory maintenance, the shutdown at Murrin Murrin allowed Minara to undertake major capital installations - removing the last of the legacy design issues which have compromised the operation, particularly over the last two years.

Minara chief executive Peter Johnston said that the success of the shutdown was due to the significant forward planning and pre-work conducted prior to taking the plant offline.

"We started planning for the major works in mid-2005," said Mr Johnston.

"A full-time planning team was convened before the end of 2006 and pre-work has been in full swing throughout 2007."

The shutdown process covered a seven-week period from early October to the end of November with a total cost of almost $100 million in capital and maintenance.

Major capital works were completed in the acid plant and the hydrogen sulphide (H2S) plant - replacing critical process items, particularly the superheater, which has seriously impacted production over the last two years.

"The new superheater - representing the largest single capital outlay of $15 million - will result in the acid plant achieving its design capacity for the first time at Murrin Murrin."

Minara was also able to fix the last of the design issues in the H2S plant particularly the replacement of the H2S reactors.

"The shutdown and successful restart is a momentous achievement for Minara," said Mr Johnston.

"Years of planning and faultless execution leave Murrin Murrin in great shape for the future."

"The capital works and maintenance will deliver a significant improvement in plant flexibility, and we can confidently look to an improved production profile in 2008," he continued.

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