Battery minerals, Commodities, Finance, News, Nickel

IGO becomes a nickel kingpin


IGO has announced its Western Areas acquisition is now legally effective after the transaction satisfied all regulatory approvals.

The major miner received nods from Western Areas shareholders and the Supreme Court of Western Australia, with the latter now lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

First announced in December 2021, the acquisition has been on a journey to get to where it is today, with IGO needing to increase its bid from $3.36 to $3.87 per share in April to better align it with Western Areas’ improved performance.

So what does the expanded IGO look like?

IGO managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bradford said the acquisition not only enlarges the company’s portfolio but also further synthesises it.

“The acquisition of Western Areas represents a logical consolidation of key nickel assets in Western Australia and enhances IGO’s position as a leading, independent producer of metals critical for a clean energy future,” he said.

“We are looking forward to unlocking unique synergies across the combined nickel portfolio comprised of Nova, Forrestania and Cosmos, as well as the immediate commencement of the downstream nickel sulphate feasibility studies – bringing IGO closer to key customers in the clean energy and electric vehicle industries.”

Regarded as one of the country’s highest-grade nickel mines, the Forrestania mine in Western Australia sold 3412 tonnes of nickel concentrate in the March quarter of 2022 at a realised price of $18.44 per pound (lb), up from the $13.16/lb price achieved in the December quarter.

The Cosmos operation in WA includes the emerging Odysseus mine, which is on track to deliver first concentrate in the December quarter of 2022.

IGO’s Nova operation in WA produced 20,166 tonnes of nickel in the three months to March 31, achieving the upper end of its guidance for this period (18,750–20,250 tonnes).

IGO said it was working closely with Western Areas on integrating the two businesses, with the transaction to be officially completed on June 20.

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