Mitsubishi will obtain a 15% stake for C$8m ($6m) cash and Giga will get 85%, in exchange for contributing the related assets for the project, while also serving as operator of the joint venture company
Canada-based Giga Metals and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. (MC), have teamed up to jointly develop the Turnagain nickel deposit, located in northern British Columbia, Canada.
The two companies have agreed to form a new joint venture company, dubbed Hard Creek Nickel Corp., for the development of Turnagain nickel project.
Under the terms of the agreement, MC will obtain a 15% stake in the JV for C$8m ($6m) cash, while Giga will get 85% in exchange for contributing the related assets for the project.
The Canadian company will operate the joint venture, with support from MC, reporting to the board of directors of the new JV company.
In addition, it will work on a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Turnagain project, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.
The proposed JV transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, along with regulatory and third-party approvals.
Giga president Martin Vydra said: “We are very pleased to welcome Mitsubishi Corporation, a global trading and investment company, as a strategic partner for the development of Turnagain project.
“We are excited about partnering with MC due to their excellent reputation, expertise in mining, extensive financing capabilities, experience in marketing, and the values that they share with Giga regarding environmental, social and governance issues.”
Turnagain project is located 70km east of the Dease Lake in Northern British Columbia, Canada, and is considered as one of the world’s biggest undeveloped sulfide nickel deposits.
The two companies intend to jointly develop the Turnagain as an eco-friendly nickel project.
Giga said that Hard Creek will continue its work to explore the viability of the tailings to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere to achieve a carbon neutral project.
In addition, it will work closely with local communities and the related First Nations to develop the Turnagain project, to make it beneficial for all stakeholders in British Columbia.
US-based engineering services firm Tetra Tech will lead the next stage of engineering and is currently conducting optimisation studies prior to a PFS, after completion of funding.
The PFS will model nickel and cobalt production in concentrate, similar to the preliminary economic assessment (PEA), published in February last year.
Furthermore, Giga aims to add a pressure oxidation circuit to convert the concentrate to Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP), which is currently in demand by battery manufacturers.
Giga Metals Corporation president Martin Vydra said: “The potential addition of a pressure oxidation circuit to the flow sheet will provide flexibility in terms of the form of nickel and cobalt the project produces.
“We know from discussions with battery manufacturers and automobile OEMs that this flexibility is important to the end users. Our project should be well positioned to provide whatever the customers want.”