Ardea Resources

Ardea Kalgoorlie Nickel Project MOU with Sumitomo Metal Mining, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsui & Co.

Ardea Resources Limited (ASX:ARL) (Ardea or the Company) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd (SMM), Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), and Mitsui & Co., Ltd (MBK).


Highlights

  • Non-binding MOU signed with a Japanese Consortium consisting of Sumitomo Metal Mining, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsui & Co. to develop the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project - Goongarrie Hub
  • The Consortium is to first work with Ardea to define a scope of work for the Goongarrie Hub Definitive Feasibility Study
  • The Consortium is to sole fund the Definitive Feasibility Study upon agreeing on the scope
  • Future work is aimed at completing the Definitive Feasibility Study including various additional technical programs identified in the current Preliminary Feasibility Study, making a Final Investment Decision and securing project development funding for the Goongarrie Hub to become a globally significant producer of nickel- cobalt for the Lithium Ion Battery sector.
SMM is a pre-eminent Japanese nickel-cobalt laterite development and production company and together with Japan’s two largest trading houses, MC and MBK will form the Consortium.

The MOU provides a framework for the Consortium and Ardea to negotiate a binding agreement to complete the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP) Goongarrie Hub Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), make a Final Investment Decision (FID) and jointly secure project development funding to develop this globally significant nickel-cobalt resource.

Managing Director and CEO Andrew Penkethman noted:

“TheArdeaTeamwillbe working with well-regarded and experienced partners who recognise the global significance of the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project to the renewable energy supply chain and see the development advantages derived from our location within the best resources operating jurisdiction in the world.

Sumitomo Metal Mining are most successful in developing and operating nickel- cobalt laterite operations, whilst Mitsubishi and Mitsui have decades of project development and operations experience in Australia and globally.

Australia and Japan have particularly strong geopolitical alignment, with enduring successful business relationships. Japan has been integral to the development of Australia’s iron ore, natural gas, and coal sectors for the benefit of both nations.

We look forward to Ardea and the KNP Goongarrie Hub joining the successful Australia and Japan project development model and welcome the contribution of the Consortium in developing Ardea’s Battery and Critical Minerals projects.”

MOU Key Points

Under the terms of the MOU, Ardea and the Consortium will work together to define a scope of work for the DFS and jointly complete this undertaking, with the Consortium funding the DFS upon the parties agreeing on the DFS scope before the end of Quarter 3, 2023.

Following the completion of the DFS, Ardea and the Consortium will work towards making a FID, and securing project development funding, with a focus on Australian and foreign Export Credit Agency long tenor, low interest rate debt.

The Consortium will look to ultimately earn a significant interest in a joint venture which will develop and operate the KNP Goongarrie Hub and will have certain off-take rights. The terms of a proposed joint venture have not been agreed and are to be negotiated between Ardea and the Consortium.

Ardea and the Consortium have agreed certain exclusivity arrangements, which end before the end of Quarter 4, 2023 (unless extended by agreement between Ardea and the Consortium), subject to transaction timelines being met. Under the exclusivity provisions, Ardea may continue discussions with other interested parties that have commenced due diligence under the Strategic Partner process until the Consortium completes its due diligence, with expected completion before the end of Quarter 3, 2023 (unless extended by agreement between Ardea and the Consortium).

Additional updates will be provided as Ardea and the Consortium advance their collaboration on the KNP Goongarrie Hub and on the outcome of the Consortium's due diligence.

About Sumitomo Metal Mining

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (SMM) dates from the 16th century and copper mining and processing in Japan. SMM is an integrated producer covering from mineral resources development, smelting & refining, to the production of battery materials and functional materials. By connecting the core businesses, it has advantages in sustainable value chains. With experience and know-how in mining development, it owns a number of quality resource interests for copper and gold. For nickel, its strength lies in HPAL (High Pressure Acid Leach), a technology to recover metals such as nickel and cobalt from low-grade nickel oxide ores. SMM successfully developed and operates two HPAL operations in the Philippines, at Coral Bay and Taganito.

About Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses together with its offices and subsidiaries worldwide, as well as with its global network of around 1,700 group companies. MC engages in a wide range of businesses spanning multiple industries and overseen by its Industry DX Group, Next-Generation Energy Business Group and 10 Business Groups: Natural Gas, Industrial Materials, Chemicals Solution, Mineral Resources, Industrial Infrastructure, Automotive & Mobility, Food Industry, Consumer Industry, Power Solution, and Urban Development. With an unwavering commitment to conducting business with integrity and fairness, MC remains fully dedicated to growing its businesses while contributing to a prosperous society.

About Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (MBK) is a global trading and investment company with a diversified business portfolio that spans approximately 63 countries in Asia, Europe, North, Central & South America, The Middle East, Africa and Oceania. Mitsui has about 5,400 employees and deploys talent around the globe to identify, develop, and grow businesses in collaboration with a global network of trusted partners. Mitsui has built a strong and diverse core business portfolio covering the Mineral and Metal Resources, Energy, Machinery and Infrastructure, and Chemicals industries. Leveraging its strengths, Mitsui has further diversified beyond its core profit pillars to create multifaceted value in new areas, including innovative Energy Solutions, Healthcare & Nutrition and through a strategic focus on high-growth Asian markets. This strategy aims to derive growth opportunities by harnessing some of the world’s main mega-trends: sustainability, health & wellness, digitalization and the growing power of the consumer.


Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Ardea Resources, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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