South African gold mining company Sibanye-Stillwater has signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) with French mining and metallurgy company Eramet to buy the Sandouville nickel hydrometallurgical processing facility.

The deal follows the signing of an exclusive put option agreement by Sibanye-Stillwater in July to acquire the asset for €65m.

At that time, the two firms agreed to sign a SPA that would be conditional on successful consultations with the works council of the Sandouville facility.

Sibanye said in a statement: “The signature of the SPA follows the successful completion of the information consultation process with the employee representative bodies of Eramet Sandouville and Eramet, who have rendered a favourable opinion of the transaction.”

The deal has secured the approval of the French Foreign Investment Control Office and the South African Reserve Bank.

Sibanye said that it will now work with Eramet on the remaining conditions precedent.

This will include clearance for the transfer of the permits and carve out arrangements. These are anticipated to be finalised by early next year.

In an effort to expand battery metals exposure, Sibanye signed a deal to buy a 50% stake in Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US, for $490m.

Ioneer agreed to form a 50:50 joint venture with the South African miner to develop the Rhyolite Ridge mine.

Earlier this year, Sibanye agreed to invest in Finnish lithium firm Keliber, making its foray into the battery metals space.

It will initially invest €30m for a 30% stake in Keliber.