RNC Minerals partners with Waterton in Quebec nickel mine

Canada’s RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) has partnered with Waterton Precious Metals to jointly acquire, develop and operate nickel assets, particularly its Dumont project in the Abitibi mining camp, Quebec.

As part of the agreement, Waterton is grabbing a 50% of RNC's interest in the proposed Dumont mine for $22.5 million (Cdn$30 million).

The Dumont project is expected to become the world's fifth largest nickel sulphide mine.

The deal will also see RNC and Waterton injecting $17.5 million (for a total of $35 million) into a newly established limited partnership that will own the project, supporting its progress towards development.

The deposit holds about 6.9 billion pounds of nickel in the proven and probable reserve categories and 9.75 billion pounds of nickel resources in the measured and indicated category — enough to make of Dumont the world's fifth largest nickel sulphide mine, according to RNC.

The project has been fully permitted since June 2015, when the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Fight Against Climate Change issued a certificate of authorization, which is the province’s most significant permit for a mining project.

According to RNC’s president and CEO Mark Selby, the company is on track with gold production ramp up at its Beta Hunt Mine in Australia, which would create even more value to shareholders once completed. The expansion of that operation is expected to continue this year, achieving a previously announced guidance of 65-70,000 ounces per year.