Vale finalises sale of New Caledonia to Prony Resources
Prony Resources, a consortium of investors including Trafigura, has concluded the purchase of Vale's New Caledonia nickel and cobalt operation.
"After several months of negotiations, I am pleased that we concluded our divestment of VNC, benefitting employees, New Caledonia and all its stakeholders. Vale is fully committed to this transaction. It meets the guarantees required at the financial, social and environmental levels and offers a sustainable future for the operations," said Eduardo Bartolomeo, CEO of Vale.
Vale’s intent from the beginning of the divestment process was to withdraw from New Caledonia in an orderly and responsible manner. This deal accomplishes that.
“We acknowledge Vale for its professionalism throughout and its unwavering commitment to exiting New Caledonia responsibly,” said the French State in a statement released yesterday.
The deal provides the former VNC operations with a financial package totaling $ 1.1 bn, of which Vale Canada Limited is contributing US$ 555 million to support the continuity of the operations. The financing of the Pact for the Sustainable Development of the Deep South will also be secured by Vale.
In addition, Vale will continue to have the right to a long-term nickel supply agreement for aproportion of the operation’s production, allowing it to continue addressing the growing demand for nickel by the electric vehicle industry.
“Along with the continuation of the Pact, the deal also allows the Lucy Project for dry storage of tailings to proceed,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “Wewant to acknowledge the time and effort of all stakeholders to achieving this deal, including the French State and especially the employees of VNC for their trust and support through a lengthy and uncertain process.”
Vale reaffirms its commitment to its shareholders to transform the Base Metals business, simplifying the operations flowsheet going forward and enabling a continuous focus on core assets, while also honoring its new pact with society, contributing to the maintenance of a sustainable environment for safe operations continuity.
DRC selects Fortescue to develop giant hydro project
Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) government said on Tuesday Fortescue Metals Group would develop the Grand Inga hydroelectric power project, including a 4,800-megawatt dam that has already been committed to Chinese and Spanish developers.
Fortescue to develop dams for world's largest hydroelectric project
Australia's Fortescue confirmed it was in talks with Congo to develop a series of dams that could become the world's largest hydroelectric project, but it said no formal binding agreement had been concluded.
Fortescue's involvement is the latest twist in Congo's decades-long quest to expand Inga, whose two existing dams - completed in 1972 and 1982 - have a combined installed capacity of nearly 1,800 MW.
The proposed expansion of six more dams would bring capacity to over 40,000 MW, roughly double the size of China's Three Gorges dam, currently the world's largest. Total development costs have been estimated at up to $80bn.
In 2018, a Chinese consortium that includes China Three Gorges Corporation and a Spanish consortium that includes AEE Power signed a deal with Congo's government to develop the third dam, known as Inga 3.
Ground has yet to be broken on Inga 3 because of questions over its financial viability. Alexy Kayembe De Bampende, President Felix Tshisekedi's top infrastructure advisor, said the project would now be led by Fortescue.
"Fortescue will be the sole operator for the entire Grand Inga (3 to 8). Chinese & co are welcome to join Fortescue," he told Reuters."There has been discussion between Chinese (Three Gorges) & AEE and (Fortescue) since last year to work together."
Three Gorges and AEE Power did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
DRC's Grand Inga green energy project will create hundreds of thousands of jobs
In a memorandum of understanding signed between Fortescue and Congo in September 2020, Fortescue "acknowledges the existing potential rights held on Inga 3 by third parties".
"In the event that, for any reason, such rights to develop Inga 3 become available, the government of the DRC undertakes to secure for Fortescue Future Industries an exclusive first option to develop Inga 3," it said.
A senior official at the government's Agency for the Development and Promotion of Grand Inga (ADPI), speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ADPI had not been involved in the talks with Fortescue.
Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest met Congo President Felix Tshisekedi on Sunday to discuss the project. Forrest said Fortescue would use the energy from Inga to produce hydrogen to export around the world.
"The capital cost of this will be many many tens of billions of dollars and direct and indirect employment will be in the hundreds of thousands," he told reporters.
Fortescue has said it plans to fund the majority of its green energy projects off its balance sheet, investing about $1bn a year of its own money.
Fortescue's statement was made in response to an article in the Australian Financial Review.
Meanwhile, Fortescue has teamed up with Hatch, Anglo American and BHP, to form a Green Hydrogen Consortium focused on ways of using green hydrogen to accelerate decarbonisation within their operations globally.