Re: News Release - Sunday, October 19, 2008
First Nickel Places Lockerby Mine on Care and Maintenance
News Release No. 2008-18
TORONTO, ONTARIO - Oct. 19, 2008 - First Nickel Inc (FNI:TSX) announced
that, from today, it is suspending production and initiating a care and
maintenance program at its wholly owned Lockerby Mine due to low metal
prices and the challenging financial environment.
The decision follows an extensive evaluation of mining scenarios and
likely near term metal price projections that rule out the continuation
of operations. The Lockerby Mine will be kept in ready condition
through the care and maintenance program that will enable a return to
production when economic conditions improve and while the Company
evaluates its options.
The Company will continue to explore its properties located in the
Sudbury basin as well as northern and eastern Ontario.
"Regrettably, the prevailing nickel prices are below Lockerby's cash
costs per pound of payable nickel even though the Company has worked
diligently throughout 2008 to reduce costs," said William Anderson,
President and CEO of First Nickel. "We believe this is the best option
to conserve cash and position the operation for future success while
maintaining the long-term benefit to the community and our
shareholders. The decision to put the mine on care and maintenance has
not been taken lightly and the Company recognizes the impact upon our
employees, their families and the community. In the weeks ahead we will
continue to firm up our plans and pursue ways to bring the operation
back on line when conditions improve."
An orderly suspension of all mining activity is underway along with
reductions in staff at the mine, except for a small group that will be
retained to meet care and maintenance requirements. The Company's
affected employees will be provided with transition support during this
"I am proud of our team at Lockerby mine which has worked very hard and
made great strides in recent months to increase production and lower
costs. We greatly regret the impact that this shut-down will have on
the workers who will be laid-off, and we intend to work with those who
are displaced to help them relocate elsewhere in the industry," said
Gerry Bilodeau, VP Operations.
First Nickel is a Canadian mining and exploration company. Its current
activities are primarily focused on the Sudbury Basin in northern
Ontario, the location of the Lockerby Mine and four of its exploration
properties. First Nickel also has two exploration properties in the
Timmins region of northern Ontario. First Nickel's shares are traded
on the TSX under the symbol FNI.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements, which are
subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. A number of
factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the
results discussed in such statements, and there is no assurance that
actual results will be consistent with them. Such forward-looking
statements are made as at the date of this news release, and the
company assumes no obligation to update or revise them, either publicly
or otherwise, to reflect new events, information or circumstances.
For further information contact:
First Nickel Inc.
William Anderson, President & CEO
Toll Free: (888)-362-7050
Telephone: (416) 362-7050
Fax: (416) 362-9050
Forbes West, Investor Relations Advisor
416-203-2200 / 1-888-655-5532 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright (c) 2008 FIRST NICKEL INC. (FNI) All rights reserved. For
more information visit our website at http://www.firstnickel.com/ or