First Quantum temporarily shuts Australian nickel operation following acid spill

VANCOUVER – First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) has temporarily shut down its Ravensthorpe nickel operation in Western Australia after a “structural failure” in a storage tank caused a spill of material laden with sulphuric acid inside a processing plant.

The Vancouver-based mining company said all personnel have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported.

The spill was contained within a protected area and the company says it does not anticipate any adverse environmental effects.

First Quantum said an investigation of the cause was under way but it had no estimate of how long the shutdown would last.

The tank contained acid-leaching nickel in slurry, created during the process for extracting minerals from ore.