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Full production planned at FNX’s Levack Mine

BY KEITH LACEY By next spring, FNX Mining Inc.


By next spring, FNX Mining Inc., an up-and-coming junior mining company with all its major assets in Greater Sudbury, will have more than 400 employees on the payroll as plans call for the re-opening of the Levack Mine into full production.

Ian Horne, director of environmental affairs for FNX Mining, which is based out of Toronto, but has almost all of its major mining assets in Greater Sudbury, said bright days lie ahead for the company, which purchased five properties from CVRD Inco a couple of years ago, including McCreedy West Mine and Levack Mine.

Horne held a public information session concerning the activities at the McCreedy West and Levack Mine sites Wednesday evening in Onaping at the Royal Canadian Legion. Both mines are located in  Levack, about 50 kilometres northwest of Sudbury.

Before that meeting, Horne told Northern Life Levack Mine has been deemed an “advanced exploration project” under Ontario’s Mining Act, but that’s about to change into a full production mine by next spring.

“To have a second mine about to come on stream as a full production mine is obviously a very exciting thing for our company,” said Horne.

The company expects to have a payroll in the neighbourhood of 250 workers, most who will be contract miners, by the time Levack Mine becomes fully operational by late first quarter of early second quarter of 2007, said Horne.

This will complement the 150 employees now on the payroll with FNX at McCreedy West, he said.

At McCreedy West, the company has upgraded its huge surface crusher facility and this has resulted in numerous noise complaints over the past few months, said Horne.

Efforts to reduce noise “have not been as successful as we hoped”, so the company has decided to purchase a dome-like building to surround the crusher plant, which will dramatically reduce decibel levels and allow for full production while obeying all provincial and city noise bylaws, said Horne.

“We’re buying this structure to specifically enclose the will reduce noise levels significantly,” he said.

The company is currently in the process of receiving city building permits to erect the dome over the next few months, he said.

Levack Mine has been in the advanced exploration stage for more than two years, said Horne.

Shaft rehabilitation work is almost complete as are numerous underground upgrades and the company expects to be able to produce small amounts of ore within the next couple of weeks, he said.

“We will gradually ramp up production heading into the new year and it’s our expectation to be at full production by late first quarter or early second quarter 2007,” he said. “Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for our company.”

The news gets even better as a shaft has been sunk to the 2,650-foot level at its Podolsky Mine project, located just behind Capreol, said Horne.

“We’re just getting ready to go in there and develop 1,800 feet of lateral development to reach the main ore body,” he said. “That’s where we’ll be able to take bulk ore samples and determine where we’re going to go from there. We hope to reach the main ore body to take samples by next June.”

Horne didn’t have a definite timetable as to when he expects Podolsky Mine to become fully operational.

FNX is also in the process of completing plans to build a new office headquarters in Levack so management can be closer to the action at McCreedy West and Levack, said Horne.

FNX also purchased Kirkwood Mine in Garson and the old Victoria Mine near Whitefish.

FNX Mining has recorded profits of $49 million (Canadian) for the first three quarters of 2006, 12 times the amount it made during the first nine months of 2005.

According to the company’s website, FNX has $173 million in cash and liquid assets and has no debt.

“The company’s revenues remain well financed to supports its ambitious growth plans over the next two years,” said Horne.


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