* Mincor says its Miitel nickel mine could be bigger
* May have found a second deposit on its mine site
* Miitel set for reactivation this month (Adds details)
SYDNEY, June 16 (Reuters) - Australia’s Miitel nickel mine could be bigger than previously estimated, owner Mincor Resources Ltd (MCR.AX) said on Wednesday, citing new exploration data which has revealed a possible second nickel deposit.
The west Australian mine site is now being reactivated after it was mothballed in December 2008 due to depressed metals prices. It is set to return to previous annual production rates of 4,500 to 5,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate to meet renewed demand from stainless steel makers. [ID:nSGE63C0K7]
Production could restart as early as this month, Mincor said.
Mincor, BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) BLT.L, Xstrata XTA.L, Norilsk GMKN.M and Minmetals all idled nickel mines in Australia as commodities markets slumped in 2008. Mincor would be the first to resume operations.
For a factbox on major nickel projects and their planned start dates click on: [ID:nLDE62419O]
Concentrate from Mincor’s mine is delivered to BHP, which processes the ore at its Kalgoorlie smelter for a fee under a contract running until 2019.
LME three-months nickel MNI3 on Wednesday was last indicated at $20,400/20,500 versus the recession low of $8,950 in October 2008, based on Reuters data. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Mark Bendeich)