FRANCISTOWN: The recent fall in global metal prices has forced the world's largest nickel miner, Norilsk Nickel International, to urgently consider an operational review of Tati Nickel Mine operations.
"We have been affected by the global financial crisis and the fall in the metal prices in particular," says Tati Nickel's Manager (for) Organisational Capability, Peter Meswele.
Tati Nickel Mine, which recovers copper, nickel and cobalt, is located a few kilometres west of Francistown.
The mother company, Norilsk Nickel International, recently warned the likelihood of cutting production at its non-Russian assets, including Tati Nickel Mine. Nickel is currently trading at about one-fifth of its record price of $51,800 a tonne reached last May.
"We are busy toying around with cost reduction strategies and other means of reducing costs," Meswele says. "We will want interventions to be put in place to make sure that we survive."
Tati Nickel Mine's employees have
"It has been concluded that the Selkirk operation will only resume after the end of the life of Phoenix Mine, otherwise known as the Tati Nickel Mine," Meswele continues.
The recent resignations of certain key executives at Tati Nickel, among them the General Manager Peet Kotze, has highlighted the difficulties the mine is undergoing.
The recruitment of Debswana's Orapa and Letlhakane Mines General Manager, who takes up his new post at the helm at Tati Nickel in the New Year, has aroused anxiety that his first brief will be to slash the workforce.