December 15, 2011
Mitsubishi Corporation sells 3.4% of Strand Minerals (Indonesia) Pte Ltd to Pacific Metals
Mitsubishi Corporation (“MC”) has agreed to sell a 3.4% ownership interest from its 33.4% stake in Strand Minerals, the owner of 90% of PT Weda Bay Nickel, to Pacific Metals Co. Ltd. (“Pamco”) of Japan for 3 billion Japanese yen, and a new shareholders agreement has been concluded among MC, Pamco and Eramet S.A. (“Eramet”) *1, the owner of the remaining 66.6% of Strand Minerals.
Strand Minerals is a special purpose company owning 90% of the shares of PT Weda Bay Nickel, the entity undertaking the development of the Weda Bay Project, which is one of the largest undeveloped nickel deposit in the world and is located on the island of Halmahera in Indonesia. PT Weda Bay Nickel is also 10% owned by PT Antam Tbk of Indonesia *2.
MC, since its participation in the Weda Bay Project in February of 2009, has been working closely with Eramet to assess the feasibility, in view of the FID (final investment decision) anticipated at the end of 2012. MC will supply Pamco with the Weda Bay Nickel intermediate product which shall contribute to the secure procurement by Pamco of the nickel supply for their ferronickel production, and in turn enhance the economic viability of the Project. On the technology side, Pamco has been working independently and simultaneously on an atmospheric pressure leaching process, similar to the one developed by Eramet. In this respect, Pamco’s entry into the Project shall result in a positive synergy.
The latest data indicates 6.3 million tons of nickel contained in combined ore resources. The Project will use a hydrometallurgical process developed by Eramet at its research center in France. The Project will aim to achieve ultimate capacity of 65,000 tons of nickel per year.
*1 Eramet is a world leading producer of alloying metals, particularly manganese and nickel used to improve the properties of steel, and also high-performance special steels and alloys used in industries such as aerospace, power generation and tooling. Eramet is part of Euronext Paris Compartment A and is listed on the MSCI index. Eramet employs approximately 15,000 people in 20 countries.
*2 PT Antam Tbk (Antam) is an Indonesian limited liability state corporation that is vertically integrated to undertake all stages of the mining process from exploration, mining, smelting, and refining through to marketing. Antam’s main products are ferronickel, nickel ore, gold, silver and bauxite.
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