US mining company acquires Australian nickel mine to meet forecast battery cell demand

12 Oct 2018

Texas-based mining company Black Mountain Metals has acquired the Lanfranchi nickel mine in Western Australia from Australian nickel miner Panoramic Resources for A$15.1 million.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board, comes three years after the mine was closed by Panoramic Resources due to falling nickel prices.

According to Mining Weekly, analysts are forecasting a global market deficit for nickel in the next three years. Nickel sulphides are a component of battery cells used in the manufacture of electric vehicles.

‘We have conducted due diligence on the project and we’re confident of returning it to production,’ says Black Mountain’s chief executive Rhett Bennett.

‘The high-growth electric vehicle market is having a direct impact on demand for nickel and our acquisition of Lanfranchi provides us with an exciting opportunity to meet that demand.’

Lanfranchi hosts a mineral resource of about 5.65 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.69% nickel for 95,500 tonnes of nickel.

‘The 2018 US Geological Survey ranks Australia first in the world for nickel reserves and fifth in the world for production,’ says Isaac Court, Manager Resources, Austrade.

‘When combined with benefits such as our proximity to growth markets in Asia, Australia delivers a competitive edge to mining companies looking to expand internationally.’

Founded in 2007 with the backing of equity partners, Black Mountain – the parent company of Black Mountain Metals – focuses on identifying and capturing high‑growth opportunities within the natural resources sector. Black Mountain Metals is focused on helping meet the growing demand for battery metals by acquiring and developing battery metal assets around the world.

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