Australian mining and resource firm BHP has signed an agreement with Norilsk Nickel Australian Holdings’ subsidiary MPI Nickel to acquire the latter’s Honeymoon Well nickel project in Western Australia (WA).

The Honeymoon Well nickel project comprises the Honeymoon Well development project and a 50% interest in the Albion Downs North and Jericho exploration joint ventures (JVs).

Currently, BHP Nickel West owns a 50% stake in the Albion Downs North-Jericho JVs.

BHP Nickel West Asset president Eddy Haegel said: “This is an exciting opportunity to enhance our world-class nickel resource base in Western Australia. Proximity to our existing facilities makes us the natural owners of these deposits, and provides potential options to bring the undeveloped resources to market.

“Nickel continues to be an essential input into new technologies that will improve the battery storage needed for renewables and electric vehicle manufacturing.

“Consistent with our strategy to invest in future facing commodities, this transaction gives us access to explore and develop these prospective nickel sulphide tenements.”

The combined tenement package is located in the northern Goldfields region

Located in the northern Goldfields region, the combined tenement package is situated about 50km from BHP’s Mt Keith mine and 100km from its Leinster concentrator.

The tenement package includes the Wedgetail deposit, which holds high-grade nickel sulphide resource, and a high quality disseminated sulphide resource.

In March 2020, BHP said it has completed the Escondida water supply expansion (EWSE) project at its Minera Escondida mine in Chile.

The expansion project is said to increase the desalination capacity of the mine, providing with desalinated water for 100% of its needs, and protecting local groundwater resources. Black & Veatch is serving as designer and engineer for the EWSE project.