Swiss-based mining company Xstrata will spend $649m to develop two nickel projects in Canada.

The company’s nickel unit will invest $530m in the expansion of the Raglan project in Northern Quebec by developing the high-grade Qakimajurq and Mine 2 lower zone deposits and associated infrastructure.

Xstrata plans to increase nickel production from 26,000tpa to 32,000tpa by 2014 while its nickel concentrator is expected to achieve an annual capacity of 40,000t by 2016.

In addition, the company will invest $119m to develop two zones in the Fraser Morgan project, Ontario.

The development will help to secure 6,000tpa and 2,000tpa of nickel and copper respectively, while extending the mine life by five years to 2025.

Work at the Fraser mine will begin in 2012 and production is expected to begin in 2013.