Canadian miner Sherrit has finalised funding arrangements with its partners to provide loans for the Ambatovy project in Madagascar.
The half-finished Ambatovy project is expected to be ready by the second half of 2010.
It will have an annual production capacity of 60,000t of nickel, 5,600t of cobalt and 190,000t of ammonium sulphate over 27 years.
Sherrit owns a 40% stake in the project, worth about $4.52bn, while resource and metals companies Sumitomo and Kores each have a 27.5% interest, SNC-Lavalin also has a 5% stake.
The existing $2.1bn finance from senior lenders is unaffected by the new loan arrangements, Sherritt said.
Sherrit will remain the operator of the project and is not required to directly contribute any new shareholder funding.
The new loan will be paid solely from Sherritt’s share of distributions from the project.