Aguablanca " Nickel is the principal component of stainless steel with an enormous range of applications. Meanwhile, copper has properties ideally suited to electrical conduction." When the mine was acquired by the Lundin Mining Corporation ( LMC) in July 2007, it immediately added a vital new dimension to the company's portfolio. As a diversified base metals mining company, which already had operations in Portugal, Sweden and the Democratic Republic of Congo, LMC was keen to add an operation to mine and process nickel, a relatively rare metal found April 10 www. bus- ex. com 123 This concentrate is then sold on to a single client in China where it is smelted and refined. Unusually, the processing plant at Aguablanca has the flexibility to produce separate copper and nickel concentrates with minimal loss of nickel to the copper concentrate. This is achieved by a special process that exploits the flotation rate differences between the fast floating copper and the heavier nickel minerals. Luis Merino, managing director of the Aguablanca mine, explains the synergies that exist between the two metals.