Atlantic Nickel (“Atlantic Nickel” or the “Company”) and Appian Capital Advisory LLP (“Appian”) are pleased to announce the first sale of nickel concentrate from the Santa Rita nickel sulphide re-start project (“Santa Rita” or the “Project”) located in Brazil.
- First sale of nickel concentrate from the Santa Rita with shipment in January 2020
- Following the re-commencement of the mine in July 2019, mining and processing operations are both ahead of schedule
- Over 11,000 dmt of in-specification concentrate produced to date
- Offtake agreement and financing facility in place with Trafigura, one of Atlantic Nickel’s cornerstone offtakers
- Production expected to reach nominal annualised capacity in 2020
Since the recommencement of blasting activities in July 2019, the Company has safely achieved several operational milestones on or ahead of schedule. Refurbishment of the plant is complete, and the ramp-up of commissioning activities has resulted in early production of nickel concentrate. The Company has produced over 11,000 dmt to date and is set to deliver its first shipment in January of 2020.
On the back of strong commercial interest, the Company has looked to establish relationships with a diverse set of offtake partners, each with strong reputations globally. In line with this strategy, Atlantic Nickel is pleased to announce that it has entered into a three-year offtake contract for a portion of Santa Rita’s production and a US$40.8m financing arrangement with Trafigura. The deal provides the remaining funding required for the restart of the project and establishes a strong relationship with a best-in-class global commodities trading firm.
The quick, safe, and capital efficient restart has been, and will continue to be, driven by high-calibre execution from the team on the ground in Bahia, delivering on a revised operating strategy developed and implemented jointly by Atlantic Nickel’s leading management team and Appian, and maintaining the excellent existing infrastructure at site.
Following the announcement of recent drilling results (link provided here), an updated open pit reserve statement is planned for completion in Q1 2020 and the Company expects to undertake further drilling in 2020 to continue to grow and define the long-life underground resource potential.
Paulo Castellari, CEO Atlantic Nickel & Appian Brazil commented:
“I am delighted to announce the official re-start and first sale from Santa Rita. This important milestone for both Atlantic Nickel and Appian demonstrates the technical excellence of our team who have brought the project back to production ahead of schedule in a safe and responsible manner. The team and I am now looking forward to bringing the asset to full capacity.
Following our updated mineral resource estimate, Santa Rita is an asset with significant upside, with the potential for further expansion both underground and through an open pit satellite resource.
Today’s announcement further de-risks the project and I remain confident in Santa Rita’s prospects as a low-cost, long-life mine that is well positioned to benefit from the growth in electric vehicles to generate strong investor returns.”
For further information:
Finsbury +44 (0)20 7251 3801
Charles O’Brien, Ruban Yogarajah, Richard Crowley
Appian Capital Advisory LLP is the investment advisor to the Appian Natural Resources Fund LP and the Appian Natural Resources Fund II LP, long-term value focused private equity funds that invest solely in mining and mining related companies.
Appian is a leading investment advisor in the metals and mining industry, with global experience across South America, North America, Australia and Africa and a successful track record of supporting companies to achieve their development targets.
Six of Appian’s eight investments are currently in production, with another set to be producing in 18 months. Appian acquired Atlantic Nickel, the 100% owner of Santa Rita, in 2018.
About Atlantic Nickel
Atlantic Nickel is the owner and operator of Santa Rita, an open-pit nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide operation located in Bahia, Brazil.
Santa Rita is a fully permitted, past-producing nickel mine currently undergoing an operational restart. The Project benefits from US$1bn of prior investment and has an estimated production capacity of 6.5Mtpa.
One of the largest open pit nickel sulphide mines in the world, Santa Rita is a high-quality asset operating with a second quartile cost position. It is one of a few remaining nickel sulphide projects globally that can offer additional supply towards the production of Class I nickel products and so has exposure to the high-growth potential of the electric vehicle industry.