Murrin Murrin mine

Mining major Glencore has announced plans to sell some of its nickel and cobalt projects due to lower prices.

The company’s decision comes soon after it announced its aim to focus on returning cash to shareholders.

The potential project sales as reported by Reuters include the Araguaiai and Sipilou nickel and cobalt projects in Brazil, and the Cosmos nickel mine in Western Australia.

Cosmos nickel mine was placed on care and maintenance in 2012 when it was still under the ownership of Xstrata, prior to coming into Glencore ownership.

Glencore global nickel assets head Peter Johnston told investors that the company was continuing the divestment of its noncore nickel assets.

Assets include the Stargate asset in the Philippines, the Agmet operation in the US, and the Sinclair mine in Western Australia.

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The company is now said to be on look out for a buyer for the Cosmos mine and expects to divest it within the next year.

Cosmos had been in production since 2000, and produced more than 2.9mt of ore prior to its closure.

In 2012, the mine delivered 127,000t of nickel in concentrate, including an estimated 4,200t.

Following the sale of Cosmos mine, Glencore will be left with the Murrin Murrin mine as its only nickel source in WA.

During 2015, the company also plans to divest the Araguaia nickel asset in Brazil and the Sipilou nickel asset in Cote d’Ivoire.

Image: Glencore’s Murrin Murrin mine in Australia. Photo: courtesy of Glencore