Xstrata Nickel will develop growth projects having a combined value of $649 million at its Raglan mine in Quebec’s far north and its Fraser Morgan mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

At Raglan, Xstrata will invest $530 million to develop the high-grade Qakimajurq and Mine 2 Lower Zone deposits and to upgrade associated infrastructure to increase production of nickel in concentrate from 26,000 mt/y to 32,000 mt/y by 2014. In addition, Xstrata will increase Raglan concentrator capacity to 40,000 mt/y of nickel-in-concentrate by 2016 to support additional mining expansions.

The Qakimajurq deposit contains 2.6 million mt of probable reserves, grading 4.40% nickel and 0.85% copper. Development of the deposit will begin before year-end 2011, and production is scheduled to start in 2014.

The Mine 2 Lower Zone contains 1 million mt of probable reserves grading 3.90% nickel and 1.26% copper. Development will begin in 2012, and production is scheduled to begin in 2014.

Work on the concentrator upgrade is expected to begin in 2013.

The $119-million Fraser Morgan expansion will develop two zones of the existing Fraser mine to unlock 6,000 mt/y of nickel and 2,000 mt/y of copper in concentrates, while extending mine life of the Fraser complex by five years to 2025. Development of the project will start in early 2012, and production is expected to begin in 2013.