Nickel Mines acquires 70% of Angel nickel project
Australia’s Nickel Mines (NIC) has signed an agreement with partner Shanghai Decent Investment to acquire a 70 percent stake, worth £367.2 million, in the Angel nickel project in Indonesia.
In a statement, the miner says that the execution triggers a £14.98 million payment, which NIC will fund from cash reserves. The company plans to acquire the Angel nickel project over two stages:
- Stage 1 will acquire 30 percent of the project for £157.3 million (less £22.4 million prepayments), which will be due no later than March 31, 2021.
- Stage 2 will acquire 40 percent of the project for £209.7 million, which is due no later than December 31, 2021.
The Angel nickel project comprises four rotary kiln electric furnaces (RKEF) lines, and a captive 380MW power station, which is currently under construction within the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) on Halmahera Island in North Maluka province, the company says.
It adds that the four RKEF lines are expected to have an annual production capacity of 36,000 tonnes of equivalent contained nickel in nickel pig iron.
In October, Nickel Mines signed a memorandum of understanding to build, own and operate four RKEF lines within the Weda Bay Industrial Park, aiming to double its nickel production profile within two years.
“We are extremely pleased to have converted our initial MoU into a binding Agreement with Shanghai Decent and to have secured our equity participation in the Angel Nickel development project currently under way within the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park," said Nickel Mines managing director Justin Werner.
“This transaction is transformative ... it will essentially double the company’s NPI production capacity and provide us with operational footprints within what will be the two largest nickel production centres globally over the next decade.”
Nickel Mines says that the development of Angel nickel project is not expected to exceed £524 million.
Additionally, Shanghai Decent will purchase the NPI product produced at Angel Nickel at market price. The project is planned to be commissioned no later than October 16 2022.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.