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NorNickel completes gold asset sales in Australia

May 07, 2014, 19:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian mining and metallurgical company Norilsk Nickel has closed the deal to sell its gold assets in Western Australia to the Australian Saracen Mineral Holdings, goes Saracen’s press release.

Norilsk Nickel’s press office has confirmed the information.

Assets of the company’s subsidiary Norilsk Nickel Australia Pty Ltd, among them gold mines Thunderbox and Bannockburn, the refining factory and the nickel mine Waterloo were included in the sales program under Norilsk Nickel’s strategy adopted last October. In early 2014, Norilsk Nickel Australia Pty Ltd concluded an agreement to sell assets for 40 million Australian dollars ($35.2 million). Proceeds were planned to be used for special dividends.

Norilsk Nickel estimates the positive effect, given the amount of the deal and disposal of obligation for soil rehabilitation, at 100 million Australian dollars, or about $88 million.

The assets’ gold reserves, according to the JORC code of mineral resources and ore reserves, are 728,000 ounces (22.6 tons), resources - 2.09 million ounces (65 tons). Saracen is going to start production at the mines, which have been idle since 2011 when purchased by Norilsk Nickel, within 18 months from the moment the deal was finalized.

Norilsk Nickel is the world’s major producer of nickel and palladium, the leading producer of platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium. The company’s other businesses are gold, silver, iridium, osmium, selenium, ruthenium and tellurium.

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