Santo Domingo.-The Canadian miner Falcondo Xstrata Nickel, formerly Falconbridge Dominicana today announced the restart of operations in Bonao, Monseñor Noel province on Monday, after a two year shutdown, but noted it will be only at 50% of capacity.
It said its annual goal is around 14,000 tons of nickel from the ferronickel ore after March 2011, and according to the recovery of the market.
PR director Luis Rosado said Falcondo reached an agreement with the local company AES Dominicana for the supply of electricity, to allow its operation at a reduced costs and optimize the mine’s exploitation and its processing plant. "Before suspending operations in August 2008 and the world economic crisis, Falcondo used petroleum as its primary energy source but now to reduce its costs and allow it to timely resume its operations this company will begin to buy electrical energy and continue using fuel oil in the metallurgical reduction process."
The company also announced a project to convert its power plant from petroleum to natural gas for the long term, to reach 100% of its productive capacity.
AES, Falcondo pact
Via the agreement AES Dominicana will supply Falcondo with energy produced with natural gas, which will contribute to create jobs and income and other benefits for the northern Cibao region and the country.
The companies said the pact is the result of security and confidence on the integral and structural improvements for the country’s electrical system, headed by president Leonel Fernandez’ Administration, through the State Owned Power Companies (CDEEE), including the new power line infrastructure known as the Electric Highway, among others.
In an emailed statement, Falcondo President Steve Flewelling and General Manager Antonio Garcia stressed the electrical market’s maturity and evolution, which has spurred the mining company to confide in the National Interconnected Electric System (SENI) to accomplish its planned ferronickel production. “The executives thank the national energy system’s officials for creating the conditions to access the electricity supply, which represents the industrial sector’s stability and drives the economy and foreign investment in the Dominican Republic.”
AES Dominicana president Marco De la Rosa said the new agreement is part of the group’s short, medium and long term strategy to support the local energy matrix’s diversification, with incentives to use natural gas in the industries, mining, commerce and tourism, to achieve greater efficiency in those sectors.