Vale and Australian firm New Century Resources are negotiating the sale of the former’s New Caledonia project, the company announced.
Australian media reports have linked a second company, Igo Limited, to the sale of New Caledonia—which comprises the Goro nickel and cobalt mine, a processing plant, and a port—but New Century, according to Vale’s announcement, is in a 60-day exclusivity pact to negotiate the purchase of a 95pc stake.
The Brazilian miner has incurred losses worth an estimated $9bn on the plant since 2010. Vale has also included a restructuring plan worth $120mn that could layoff 140 employees as part of its pact with New Century. The restructuring plan also includes exporting 2mn mt of nickel ore per annum from a deposit that feeds the plant.
The plant’s closure is largely driven by the Brazilian miner’s determination to produce nickel hydroxide cake, which is in hot demand for electric vehicle manufacturing.