Royal Nickel agreed in early February to acquire a 100% interest in VMS Ventures in Canada and a 67% interest in Salt Lake Mining in Australia in separate cash-and-shares transactions. Prior to the acquisitions, Royal Nickel’s primary asset was its advanced-stage, open-pit Dumont nickel development project in western Quebec.
VMS Ventures is a public company whose main asset is a 30% interest in the Reed copper mine in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake greenstone belt in central Manitoba. Hudbay Minerals owns the other 70% and is the mine operator. Royal Nickel is estimating that its 30% share of Reed production in 2016 will total 4,000 to 4,500 mt of copper and 500 to 750 oz of gold in concentrates. Royal Nickel’s acquisition values VMS at about C$11.4 million.
Salt Lake Mining is a private company whose main asset is its 100% interest in the Beta Hunt mine, a low-cost nickel and gold producer in the Kambalda mining district in Western Australia. Production during 2016 on a 100% basis is forecast at 3,500 to 4,500 mt of nickel in concentrate and 35,000 to 45,000 oz of gold. Royal Nickel’s acquisition values its 67% share of the company at about C$7.7 million.
Royal Nickel will continue to consider its options for development of the Dumont nickel project, which are currently constrained by the limited availability of mine financing.