Glencore to sell Australia’s Cosmos nickel mine to Western Areas

21 June 2015 (Last Updated June 21st, 2015 18:30)

Glencore has announced the sale of its A$3.1bn ($2.4bn) Cosmos Nickel Complex (CNC) in Western Australia to nickel producer Western Areas for A$24.5m ($19m).

Glencore has announced the sale of its A$3.1bn ($2.4bn) Cosmos Nickel Complex (CNC) in Western Australia to nickel producer Western Areas for A$24.5m ($19m).

In 2007, Xstrata acquired the Australian mine from Jubilee Mines.

Two years ago, Glencore acquired the business when it took over Xstrata then and in December announced its sale.

Western Australia said that the acquisition will provide the company with substantial additional exploration upside, as well as a potential second mining operation.

"We believe we have acquired the project at the correct stage of the current commodity cycle."

Cosmos is claimed to be the third potential underground mine and has the undeveloped Odysseus high-grade deposit, which hosts a total mineral resource of 7.3 million tonnes.

Located approximately 28km north-west of the BHPB Leinster nickel operations, the Cosmos covers 88km² in the Agnew Wiluna Nickel Belt.

Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said: "The Cosmos Nickel Complex will complement our existing Forrestania Nickel Operations, and is an excellent, prudent and low cost investment which is consistent with our brownfields acquisition strategy.

"We believe we have acquired the project at the correct stage of the current commodity cycle."

The acquisition will also include a 450ktpa throughput concentrator, new SAG mill.

As part of the acquisition, Western Australia will also acquire other items that include airstrip, gas pipeline, offices, telecommunications infrastructure, ore sorter, refuge chambers and an inventory of spares and supplies.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approvals and consents including ministerial consent to the transfer of tenements under the Mining Act 1978 (WA).