Alliance Nickel will sell nickel and cobalt sulphate from its proposed NiWest project in WA to Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate in a major boost to its future development.
VinES Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of South East Asian corporate giant Vingroup, has agred a non-binding MoU for not just future offtake but potentially project financing for the NiWest project.
Debt, offtake prepayment or project equity options will all be investigated by Alliance and VinES, whose parent company VinGroup made a multi-billion dollar investment to set up Vietnam’s first domestic car manufacturer in 2017, as part of the overall banking process.
VinES specialises in the R&D and the manufacturing of advanced batteries for mobility and energy storage applications.
It is a major development for Alliance Nickel (ASX:AXN), which in October last year signed a similar agreement and announced an investment from Chrysler and Fiat producer Stellantis.
At around US$30,000/t, LME nickel prices have entered 2023 at their second highest start of year level in history, only eclipsed by the China-led steel boom of 2006-2007.
The deal reflects the steaming hot demand for nickel in batteries and battery grade products from the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt project, where more than $35 million has been invested in drilling, metallurgical test work and development studies.
Located within 30km of Glencore’s Murrin Murrin Nickel Mine, the largest nickel laterite operation in Australia and the biggest cobalt producer globally outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, NiWest is an advanced developed that will produce around 97,000t of nickel and cobalt sulphate products for the growing EV market annually.
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