Nickel Mines Announces Potential Acquisition of New RKEF Lines
- Proposal for a 70 per cent interest in a new RKEF project in Indonesia
- The project will facilitate the doubling of output for the company
- Stable cash flows and balance sheet enhance the Nickel Mines’ positioning
Nickel Mines Limited (ASX:NIC) announces the signing of a memorandum of understanding to build, own and operate four rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) lines in the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP). Importantly, the development will allow Nickel Mines to double its production profile in the following two years. Moreover, the agreement further solidifies the strategic partnership with Tsingshan group as a provider of the commodity.
The memorandum outlines a 70 per cent interest acquisition for PT Angel Nickel Industry (ANI), which is a project within the IWIP. The agreement, with Shanghai Decent Investment Group, comprises of four next-generation RKEF lines, with a production capacity of 36,000 tonnes of Nickel per annum and a 380-megawatt coal-fired power plant.
Interestingly, Nickel Mines’ proposed acquisition will yield 25,000 tonnes per annum of nameplate nickel metal production. The company’s other two projects, Hengjaya Nickel and Ranger Nickel, each have a production capacity of 15,000 tonnes each. This would bring the total attributable nickel production for the company to double the current output. The business also notes that output has consistently exceeded capacity. As it relates to the power plant, Nickel Mines notes that it facilitates lower operating cost for the ANI project as it reduces power costs.
The company’s agreement with Shangai Decent involves payment of US$490 million for the 70 per cent acquisition, with US$210 million to be paid by the end of the first quarter 2021 and US$280 million by the of the fourth quarter 2021. The payments are for 30 per cent and 40 per cent interest respectively. Nickel Mines also notes that Shanghai Decent is contractually obliged to keep the cost of the project to a maximum of US$700 million.
Nickel Mines’ Managing Director, Justin Werner, emphasises the positivity of the announcement, highlighting the way in which it strengthens the relationship with Tsingshan group. In addition to this, Mr Werner reiterates the doubling of nickel production capacity, in line with the company’s goal of being a low-cost producer of nickel pig iron globally.
The business is well-positioned to facilitate the transaction, with the potential doubling of output a very attractive proposition. Indeed, when considering the company’s solid capital structure, promoted by a 1819.51 per cent jump in net cash from operations in 1H 2019, the business is in an adequate position to finance the proposal.
Nickel Mines’ memorandum of understanding for a 70 per cent interest in the ANI project is highly promising for the company, potentially doubling output. With this in mind, the company may continue to perform well through to the end of the calendar year and particularly when the interest is actualised.