Nickel Mines to boost pig iron output with $670m acquisition

An aerial shoot of the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park where the Angel Nickel project is located. Image: Nickel Mines

Nickel Mines is set to expand its foothold in Indonesia by acquiring an interest in the Angel Nickel development project for a total consideration of $US490 million ($671.6 million).

This will give Nickel Mines and its partner Shanghai Decent Investment a 70 per cent stake in the project.

The development project comprises four rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) lines and a 380 megawatt power station currently under construction on Halmahera Island in the North Maluku province.

Nickel Mines doesn’t expect to spend more than $US700 million on Angel Nickel construction costs, with the proposed acquisition being funded on debt and equity funding in equal proportion (50 per cent each).

Nickel Mines managing director Justin Werner said the transaction was transformative for the company as it would double its nickel pig iron production capacity and provide it with operational footprints within what would be the two largest nickel production centres globally over the next decade.

“With construction of Angel Nickel already under way, we look forward to providing regular updates to the market on the progress of this exciting new development project,” Werner said.

The RKEF lines at Angel Nickel boast a nameplate production capacity of 36,000 tonnes of equivalent contained nickel in nickel pig iron a year.

Under the proposed acquisition, Shanghai Decent will procure all of the nickel pig iron product from Angel Nickel at market price, with Nickel Mines anticipating that the growth of nickel pig iron supply from Indonesia will increasingly displace China’s higher cost of production.

Nickel Mines expects to complete the transaction and receive shareholder approval by early next year.

The company also holds an 80 per cent interest in the Hengjaya Nickel and Ranger Nickel RKEF processing facilities in Indonesia.

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