November 16, 2009 / 10:57 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Crowflight to suspend operations at Bucko Lake mine

* Says to lay off about 45 employees temporarily

* Q3 loss/shr C$0.01 vs EPS C$0.04 yr ago

* Q3 rev C$2.3 mln vs nil yr ago

* Says expects to reduce fixed operating costs by C$3 mln

* Sees producing 1.3 mln pounds of nickel for 2009 (Adds third-quarter results)

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Mineral exploration company Crowflight Minerals Inc CML.TO said it was suspending operations at its Bucko Lake nickel mine in Manitoba for three months and laying off about 45 employees temporarily.

For the third quarter, the company posted a loss of C$2.9 million, or 1 Canadian cent a share. It had reported a net income of C$9.9 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier, helped by a gain on derivative instruments.

It reported total metal revenue of C$2.3 million in the quarter. In the year-ago period, its Bucko mine was not yet in production.

“As with any new mine, Bucko has had its challenges during its first year of production,” Executive Chairman Stan Bharti said. “Though we have been producing nickel concentrate since the mill resumed operations in August, we have not achieved a steady-state of full capacity production at Bucko.”

The Canadian nickel producer said it expects to reduce fixed operating costs by C$3 million.

Commercial nickel sales settled during the third quarter were realized at an average price of $7.41 per pound, the company said.

For 2009, the company said it expects to produce 1.3 million pounds of nickel, generating about 1.2 million pounds of payable nickel, at an average cash cost of about $7.50 to $8.50 per pound of nickel sold.

The company expects capital expenditures for the remainder of 2009 to be C$6 million to C$7 million.

Shares of the company closed at 20 Canadian cents Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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