JOHANNESBURG – Sibanye-Stillwater has announced that it has entered into an exclusive put option agreement with French mining group Eramet SA (Eramet) for the acquisition of 100% of the Sandouville nickel hydrometallurgical processing facility, located in Normandy, France for an effective cash cost of circa €65million.
The share purchase agreement which has been agreed together with the Put Option would be entered into upon conclusion of the consultation process with the works council of Eramet
Sandouville and thereafter the Transaction is expected to conclude by year end, subject to inter alia, the approval of the South African Reserve Bank and other regulatory approvals.
The Sandouville facility is situated in the industrial heart of Europe at Le Havre, France’s second largest industrial port, with strategic access to extensive logistical infrastructure including shipping, rail and key motorways, supporting any future supply into the European end user markets.
The current Sandouville facilities include a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery with a production capacity of 12,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity nickel metal, 4,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity nickel salts and solutions and around 600 tonnes per annum of cobalt chloride.
The transaction is the second step in Sibanye-Stillwater’s battery metals strategy, building on the investment in the Keliber lithium hydroxide project, in partnership with the State of Finland and the Finnish Minerals Group, announced in February 2021.
The Sandouville site is a polyvalent facility which is already zoned for heavy industrial purposes. The site is scaleable for nickel, cobalt and lithium battery grade products, and will enable Sibanye-Stillwater to further advance its battery metals strategy and recycling activities.
Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater commenting on the transaction, said: “We are delighted to progress with this second step in our battery metals strategy, which is an important step in getting further downstream exposure to the battery metals value chain. The Sandouville facility is ideally located close to the European end-user markets and well supported by significant logistical infrastructure, which will allow us to leverage our existing Platinum Group Metals relationships. We look forward to working with Eramet and the French authorities to build a leading battery metals
platform in Europe.”