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Nickel mine in Guatemala may resume operations

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By: Tom Johnson 9-20-09

Talks are underway to possibly reopen the Fenix nickel project in Guatemala. No start date has been set up yet. But economic conditions are looking favorable, the company's Guatemalan partner said on Thursday.
The company's Guatemalan partner said that the project, which HudBay bought in 2008 when it acquired Canadian miner Skye Resources was suspended as nickel prices plummeted in the wake of the global financial crisis.

A spokesperson for Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel or CGN HudBay's local partner, said a decision on restarting work at the mine in the eastern Guatemalan town of El Estor could be made later this year.

"We're still in 'slowdown' but there are some positive signs, nickel prices have improved and the global economic crisis has started to get better," Regina Rivera told Reuters.

The mine has a capital cost estimate of around $1 billion, which could change depending on how managers choose to power the plant.

Skye Resources which acquired the project in 2004, came up against local opposition to the reopening of the mine with squatters occupying company land and burning down a hospital and community relations office built by Skye.

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