23/01/2008 - 14:08

Mirabela ups Brazilian mine expenditure by 22%

23/01/2008 - 14:08

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West Perth-based miner Mirabela Nickel Ltd has boosted capital expenditure on its Santa Rita nickel project in Brazil by 22 per cent to US$322 million ($372.4 million).

West Perth-based miner Mirabela Nickel Ltd has boosted capital expenditure on its Santa Rita nickel project in Brazil by 22 per cent to US$322 million ($372.4 million).

The increase from the previous July 2007 estimate of $263 million ($304.5 million), reflects a 15 per cent increase in production capacity from 4.0 to 4.6 million tonnes per year and a doubling of the indicated resource size to 90mt grading 0.60 per cent nickel.

It is expected that the project will remain on track for a mid 2009 start.

Mirabela said the latest CAPEX estimate followed signed contracts with the lead providers of construction services with work under these contracts already underway.

About 80 per cent of the new CAPEX is based upon firm contracts or final quotes and 10 per cent has already been spent, primarily on drilling, long lead-time items and site infrastructure including a bridge, access roads and accommodation facilities.

"The CAPEX estimate is for drilling and construction of the Santa Rita project and does not include working capital, mining fleet, finance costs and other activities of the company," Mirabela said.

"The capital cost of the mining fleet is incorporated in the mine operating cost as previously announced."

The company currently has US$152 million $175.7 million) in cash reserves and a debt financing facility for up to $260 million ($300.6 million) was mandated to BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse in January, 2008.

It is expected that the debt facility will be ready for drawdown in mid 2008.

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