August 4, 2009 / 3:30 PM / in 9 years

Mirabela Nickel shares jump as mining starts

TORONTO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Shares of Mirabela Nickel Ltd MBN.AX (MBN.TO) rose as much as 9 percent on Tuesday morning after the Australian-based company announced it had started mining at its Santa Rita nickel sulphide mine in Brazil.

Mirabela said the mine, which has a life of 19 years, will start with a production capacity of 4.6 million tonnes a year, rising to a capacity of 6.4 million tonnes a year in the second quarter of 2010.

“Only five years ago we made the largest nickel sulphide discovery in over a decade and we remain on track to be the largest independently owned nickel sulphide project worldwide,” Nick Poll, Mirabela’s managing director, said in a release.

“This is a great achievement for an independent company and testimony to the benefits of operating in Brazil,” Poll said.

Mirabela shares were up 8 Canadian cents, or 3.01 percent, at C$2.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange late Tuesday morning. The stock was up as much as 24 Canadian cents, or 9.02 percent, earlier in the day.

All of Mirabela’ projects are in Brazil. The Santa Rita mine is the company’s main project.

$1=$1.07 Canadian Reporting by Nina Lex; editing by Rob Wilson

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