RNC Minerals moves closer to Dumont project construction

Outcrop at Dumont cobalt-nickel project in Quebec. (Image: RNC Minerals)

RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) filed on Thursday the updated NI 43-101 technical report for its Dumont nickel-cobalt joint venture project in Canada’s Quebec province, taking another step closer to advancing the project to construction.

RNC Minerals owns 28% of the Dumont JV, and is the project’s sole manager. The remaining interest is held by Arpent Inc., a subsidiary of Waterton Precious Metals Fund II Cayman LP and Waterton Mining Parallel Fund Offshore Master LP.

The Dumont deposit, located near the town of Amos in the Abitibi mining camp of Québec, would be “one of the largest base metal mines in Canada and one of the top five sulphide nickel producers globally once in production,” said RNC Minerals CEO Mark Selby in a media release.

Selby added that Dumont will be “one of the only large scale fully permitted nickel-cobalt projects” that could satisfy the significant growth in battery metal demand by the electric vehicle sector.

Based on the technical report, previously released on May 30, the project contains the second largest nickel reserve in the world, at 2.8 million tonnes (6.1 billion pounds) of contained nickel, and the ninth largest cobalt reserve with 110,000 tonnes (243 million pounds) of contained cobalt. The study estimates an after-tax net present value (NPV) of $920 million and 15.4% after-tax internal rate of return (IRR).

Initial nickel production in concentrate is pegged at 33,000 tonnes per annum, ramping up to 50,000 tonnes in the phase 2 expansion, with production of around 1.2 million tonnes (2.6 billion pounds) of nickel in concentrate, over a 30-year life.

In addition to Dumont, RNC is also advancing its 100% owned Beta Hunt gold mine located in Western Australia. Last month, the company announced that it had substantially boosted the mineral resource on the Western Flanks zone of the mine, highlighted by a nearly five-fold increase in the measured and indicated category.

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