First Quantum Minerals plans to increase the potential capacity at its Kevitsa nickel / copper / platinum-group-metals project in Finland and start the commercial production by mid-2012.

The company has extended the life of the mine to more than 30 years.

First Quantum plans to ramp-up the processing rate of the plant from the current 5Mtpa to 7.5Mtpa and 10Mtpa.

The company has completed the basic engineering work and awarded various contracts for further infrastructure development.

The company said an environmental impact study was currently underway with the view to applying for a revised environmental permit later this year, reports