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Colombia's Cerro Matoso ferronickel mine partly reopens

BOGOTA, Oct (KOSDAQ: 039200.KQ - news) 10 (Reuters) - Colombia's Cerro Matoso, the world's No. 2 ferronickel producer, partially restarted operations on Thursday after indigenous groups protesting at its mine lifted their blockade of the entrance, enabling workers to regain access to the site.

Cerro Matoso, owned by mining multinational BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL - news) , supplies 4 percent of the world's ferronickel. A surplus of nickel, the metal derived from ferronickel, has driven its price down around 20 percent so far this year.

News of the mine's closure on Wednesday helped London-traded nickel contracts to firm on Thursday to $13,750 a tonne, up from a closing price of $13,660 per tonne in the prior session.