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Belvedere Resources' Progress Stalled By Nickel Price And Permit Delays

Belvedere Resources (CVE:BEL) is looking at all options for its Hitura mine after the recent drop in the nickel price.

The Finland-based operator made a net profit of €1.3mln (€2.6mln) over the whole of 2012, but was in the red in the final three months due to poor nickel prices and grades.

Full year revenues were €27.9mln, up from €24.7mln while the amount of nickel produced rose to 2,282 tonnes against 2,157 tonnes.

David Pym, Belvedere's chief executive, said the mining and exploration teams in Finland had performed well, with record ore tonnes processed at Hitura and several new gold discoveries, but the second half was marred by the poor nickel price and weak recoveries and grades in the fourth quarter.

"Low nickel prices continue to impact profitability at the Hitura mine site and reduce operational flexibility," he added.

"Reducing operating costs has allowed operations to remain profitable, but has impacted underground development work.

"The new cutback in the old open pit is still experiencing permitting delays and is essential to future operations in the current nickel price environment.

"The company is monitoring operations and is considering all options, including a potential suspension of operations until nickel prices improve.

"Key studies have been completed in 2012 towards realising our goal of gold production utilising the Hitura mill facilities, including the Kopsa resource estimate and metallurgical studies.

"Further more detailed metallurgical and environmental studies are being completed during 2013 to move the project forward."

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