Falconbridge is carrying out a feasibility study on the Touba – Biankouma dry lateritic nickel deposit. It has a joint venture with and SODEMI (Société d’Etat pour le Developpment Minier de la Ivory Coast). A deterring factor is the location of the site and required infrastructure, including the construction of a railway line to the coast. Reserves of nickel at the Biankouma-Touba nickel deposit are estimated at 293 Mt, with average grades of 1.46 % nickel and 0.11 % cobalt. Falconbridge, which has announced plans to invest US$500 million in nickel exploitation over five years, claims that production may begin in 2000/01.

Mining Indaba 2004 is Africa’s most important mining event and the world’s leading gathering of global policy makers and international finance. It is being hosted by International Investment Conferences Inc. in Cape Town, South Africa, 10-12.Feb.2004.