SPC Nickel signs deal with Vale to consolidate, develop Sudbury-area nickel-copper deposits
With electric vehicles expected to drive a boom in global nickel demand, Vale has signed an agreement with a junior miner in Sudbury to develop nickel-copper deposits in the area.
SPC Nickel Corp.’s agreement with Vale will consolidate SPC’s West Graham deposit with Vale’s Crean Hill 3 deposit.
The properties are adjacent to the former Lockerby and Crean Hill mines, about 20 km southwest of Sudbury and Vale’s Clarabelle Mill in the Sudbury Mining Camp.
The agreement gives SPC Nickel the right to acquire a 100 per cent interest in the surface and mineral rights of Crean Hill 3. In exchange, Vale receives certain rights and royalties to minerals mined from both properties.
Specifically, Vale will receive 37 per cent of net profits and has the right of first refusal for any ore produced from the project. Vale also has the first chance to purchase the properties should SPC want to sell any part of their holdings down the road.
SPC must also produce a feasibility study on the project by 2026. The full details of the agreement can be found here.
“The signing of this agreement with Vale represents a transformative growth opportunity for SPC Nickel and its shareholders,” SPC CEO Grant Mourre said in a news release announcing the agreement.
Mourre said negotiations with Vale have been ongoing for 12 months to find an agreement that benefited both parties.
“The consolidated West Graham and Crean Hill 3 deposits give SPC Nickel, as operator, the ability to optimize synergies during the exploration, development and production stages of the project,” he said.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that this agreement brings to SPC Nickel and are looking forward to getting drills turning on the property in 2023.”
Infrastructure already exists for developing the deposits, including haul roads and high-voltage electrical power.
Mourre said consolidating West Graham and Crean Hill 3 gives SPC the chance “to significantly grow the West Graham deposit into a high-quality nickel-copper asset in one of the top nickel mining camps in the world.”
“Our recently completed drill program at West Graham has provided the technical team with a firm understanding of the types of mineralization we expect to define on the Crean Hill 3 property,” he said.
“More importantly, the controls on mineralization that we expect to guide us to higher-grade opportunities across the combined project.”
The West Graham deposit is located on SPC’s Lockerby East property. Historic estimates put the unmined near-surface West Graham nickel-copper deposit at more than 47,000 tonnes of nickel and 34,000 tonnes of copper.
“These grades have economic potential in the context of the Sudbury Mining Camp, as the deposit is located very near to surface and may be amenable to low-cost open pit mining,” the SPC news release said.
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