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Glencore pumps $50m into Nifty copper restart


Glencore will have access to 100 per cent of the copper cathode produced from phase one of Cyprium Metals’ Nifty restart as part of an offtake prepayment facility between the two companies.

The major miner will also contribute $50 million to the project’s development, which is part of a broader $240–260 million debt-funding package Cyprium is looking to establish to support Nifty’s restart.

Under the agreement, Glencore and Cyprium will work towards finalising outstanding due diligence activities and documentation for the project funding, with the aim to also secure senior debt providers.

Glencore’s 100-per-cent copper cathode offtake rights are available up to 120,000 tonnes of production. The term for the $50 million prepayment facility is five years.

In a statement, Cyprium managing director Barry Cahill said the economics of Nifty’s restart were “very robust” with continued improvements being made to the project during the financing process.

In mid-May, Cyprium declared a 28.4 per cent increase in copper mineral resource estimates (to 940,200 tonnes) at Nifty, which is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The company said while Nifty is the sixth-largest development project in Australia in terms of contained copper metal, it has the highest grade.

Cyprium recently revealed exploration results from its Nifty East infill extensional drill program, with significant widths of copper mineralisation intersected. Most notably, the company hit 18m at 0.45 per cent copper from 65m at drill hole 21NRSP021, including 1m at 2.35 per cent copper.

Cyprium said the results demonstrated the potential to define additional shallow mineralisation for Nifty’s planned heap leach restart, while adding a potential 900,000 tonnes of contained copper to the mineral resource.

Glencore has also bought into KGL Resources’ Jervois copper project in the Northern Territory and Austral Resources’ Anthill copper project in Queensland in recent times as it looks to capitalise on the base metal’s growing demand.

Cyprium was trading at $0.16 at the time of writing (June 27), which was up 28 per cent on the day.

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