Nickel, nickel sulphate: BHP to acquire nickel tenements as Nornickel exits Australia

Australian nickel miner BHP Nickel West has secured a deal to acquire the Honeymoon Well nickel project, comprising the Honeymoon Well development project and a 50% interest in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration JVs from MPI Nickel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel Australian holdings (Nornickel). The combined tenement package is located in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia, approximately 100km from Nickel West’s Leinster concentrator. The announcement states that completion of the agreement is subject to a number of conditions including government and third-party approvals.

With the sale of the Honeymoon Well nickel project, Nornickel announced that it is completing its strategic exit from Australian operations and that it will continue to focus on development of its Russian assets.

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The move represents an opportunity for BHP Nickel West to boost its nickel resource base in Western Australia and shows that it remains firmly committed to its nickel division. The acquisition comes a little over a year after BHP decided that it was no longer looking to offload its Australian nickel assets. This change of heart was prompted by strong nickel demand prospects from the electric vehicle battery market, which Nickel West is targeting with production of nickel sulphate using Class I nickel powder from its Kwinana refinery. However, the first phase of production (22kt Ni-in sulphate) has been delayed, and now likely to take place in H2 2020.

Roskill’s NEW Nickel: Outlook to 2029, 16th Edition report was published in April 2020 and outlines industry trends and forecasts for the next decade. The report forecasts nickel mine supply used in Class I and Class II production. Click here to download the brochure for the report, or to access further information.

Roskill’s NEW Nickel Sulphate: Outlook to 2029, 3rd Edition report was published in May 2020 and includes forecast trends in supply, demand and pricing over the next decade. The report provides detailed profiles for new potential producers and analyses the availability of various feedstock types, including Class I nickel. Click here to download the brochure for the report, or to access further information.

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This article was written by Jack Anderson. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

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