Mount Keith Mine

Mount Keith Mine is an open pit nickel mine in Western Australia. It is operated by BHP. The site's closest landmark is the town of Wiluna, 85 kilometres (53 mi) to the north.

Mount Keith
Mount Keith
Location in Australia
StateWestern Australia
Coordinates27°16′S 120°31′E
CompanyBHP Billiton
WebsiteBHP website
Year of acquisitionJune 2005


The mine is located on the north end[1] of the 800 kilometres (500 mi) long Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone belt, with nickel sulfide deposits of the dyke-like or sill deposit type. The important known nickel deposits are in the ultramafic rocks of the lower cycle, around 2700 Ma old.[2] In 1971, the mine was thought to be able to provide 10% of the world's demand for nickel;[3] in 1992 it was estimated as containing 270 million tons of sulfide ore, grading 0.6% nickel, enough for about twenty years.[4]

Owned by WMC Resources Limited, it was acquired by BHP in June 2005.[5]

In 2009, BHP reduced the mine's activity, laying off 300 employees.[6][7]


Mount Keith is part of BHP's Nickel West operations, which includes, apart from Mount Keith, the Leinster Nickel Mine, the Kambalda Nickel Concentrator, the Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter and the Kwinana Nickel Refinery.[8] Production figures published by the company at the end of 2008 are for the whole Nickel West Operations and not broken down to individual mines. In the calendar year 2008 Nickel West produced 85,800 tonnes of nickel. At the time, Nickel West also included the Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine.[9]

See also


  1. Ernst, Richard E.; Kenneth L. Buchan (2001). Mantle Plumes: Their Identification Through Time. Geological Society of America. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-8137-2352-5.
  2. Anthony M. Evans (1993). Ore geology and industrial minerals: an introduction. Blackwell Scientific. pp. 145–46. ISBN 978-0-632-02953-2.
  3. "ША". Far Eastern Economic Review. 73-74: 51. 1971. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  4. Clow, Simon (1992). The International Nickel Trade. Woodhead. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-85573-049-6.
  5. MINDEX website Archived 11 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Government website on mining in Western Australia, accessed: 10 September 2009
  6. Freed, Jamie (13 March 2009). "BHP bolsters nickel supplies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  7. "Major job losses this year". Herald Sun. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  8. Nickel West BHP Billiton website, accessed: 11 December 2009
  9. BHP BILLITON QUARTERLY PRODUCTION REPORT - DECEMBER 2008 Page: 11, published: 21 January 2009, accessed: 11 December 2009

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