April 24, 2012 / 2:38 PM / 6 years ago

First Nickel ordered to stop work at key mine; shares fall

(Reuters) - First Nickel Inc FNI.TO has been ordered to stop work at its flagship Lockerby Mine by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour over safety issues, sending its shares to an eight-month low.

Shares of the company fell 22 percent to 70 Canadian cents on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

First Nickel said on Tuesday it is developing a plan to fix the problems with its second exit over the coming days.

“We intend to address any deficiencies identified by the assessment in order to ensure a safe working environment,” Chief Executive Thomas Boehlert said in a statement.

The company is in the process of ramping up production at the nickel and copper mine in the Sudbury Basin, and expects to produce 10 million pounds of nickel and about 7 million pounds of copper annually by 2012 end.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian

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