MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Inco to build fifth China plant

Published by MAC on 2006-05-05

Inco to build fifth China plant

Canadian Press

5th May 2006

Inco Ltd. confirmed Friday it plans to build a new plant in China to produce refined nickel for the stainless steel industry.

The big nickel producer said the $63-million (U.S.) plant in Dalian, a city in the northern Liaoning province, will make Utility brand nickel. Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter with commissioning to follow in the first half of 2008. "With China poised to become the world's No. 1 stainless steel producer, this new facility puts us in the right place, at the right time, with the right product," Inco executive vice-president Peter Goudie said in a release. "Inco's strategy is to continue expanding its presence not just as a nickel marketer but also as a local manufacturer in the world's fastest growing nickel market." The processing plant will be Inco's fifth in China. It currently operates a nickel shearing and packaging facility in Dalian, a nickel salts refinery near Shanghai and nickel foam plants in Dalian and in Shenyang in northern China.

The new plant will have a nominal capacity of 32,000 tonnes per year and will be supplied in part by Inco's Goro nickel project in New Caledonia. Inco said it has also signed a letter of intent with Taiyuan Iron and Steel Corp., China's largest manufacturer of stainless steel, regarding the possible construction of a second such plant. Its shares were up $1.19 at $65.20 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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