ARM buys out JV partner in Nkomati mine

24th November 2023 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Deputy Editor Online

ARM buys out JV partner in Nkomati mine

Nkomati nickel mine, in Mpumalanga

South African diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) has concluded an agreement to buy global nickel and palladium miner Norilsk Nickel Africa’s (NNAf’s) 50% interest in the joint venture (JV) Nkomati nickel mine, in Mpumalanga, for R1-million.

ARM will take over the environmental liabilities of the mine, together with NNAf’s proportionate share of the obligations and liabilities relating to the mine’s assets.

The agreement, in the form of a sale agreement, requires approval from the South African competition authorities and consent in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

ARM expects the transaction to close in 2024, following which the existing JV partnership agreement between ARM and NNAf will terminate.

The Nkomati mine has been on care and maintenance since March 2021, with the status quo for the mine continuing to be challenging owing to uncertainties in the nickel sector and ongoing care-and-maintenance costs.

ARM maintains that Nkomati is a known and predictable nickel sulphide orebody with established infrastructure, a relatively low carbon footprint and short lead times to resuming steady-state production of class one compatible nickel sulphide production.

The mine also has attractive by-metal product credits including copper, cobalt, platinum, palladium and chrome.