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RNC delays Dumont commissioning again

Feb 28, 2014 | 06:44 PM |

Tags  Royal Nickel, RNC, nickel, Dumont, mine, project, Hydro-Quebec, RK Mine Finance Rob Buchanan

NEW YORK — Royal Nickel Corp. (RNC) has reiterated its goal of securing permits and financing for its Dumont nickel project in Quebec by the end of this year, although the project’s expected commissioning date has been pushed back again to the second half of 2016.

The Toronto-based company said it had made operational progress over the past 12 months, including a royalty financing agreement with RK Mine Finance in May (, May 10), a "positive" technical and economic feasibility study in June that valued the Dumont project’s after-tax net present value at $1.1 billion and an agreement with Hydro-Quebec in September to connect the mine to the public energy utility’s electricity distribution network (, Sept. 27).

RNC also noted in its earnings report "targeted future milestones" that include receipt of the Dumont project’s main permit during the second half of 2014 and an estimated 22-month construction schedule once permitting and financing have been secured, although the company has now pushed the mine’s targeted commissioning to the second half of 2016 from the first half of 2016.

The revised commissioning target is a result of delays in the project’s permitting, which previously was expected to be secured by mid-2014, RNC director of investor relations Rob Buchanan told AMM. "As we’re approaching mid-2014, we’re adjusting that timeline and expect to secure the permits before year-end," he said.

RNC has pushed back the project’s timeline before, having previously forecast the mine’s commissioning for late 2015 before announcing delays last June (, June 17).

"I look forward to building on the substantial progress achieved last year by RNC, which included the completion of the Dumont feasibility study," interim president and chief executive officer Mark Selby said in a statement. "I believe 2014 will be an exciting year for RNC as we work towards achieving important milestones in the permitting and financing of the Dumont project."

Selby also noted "recent positive developments in the global nickel market" that he said would "support the rapid advancement of the Dumont project."

Selby’s predecessor, Tyler Mitchelson, announced his resignation in February to join London-based Anglo American Plc (, Feb. 14).

RNC posted a net loss of Canadian $1.6 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, even with the same period a year earlier, while its full-year net loss fell to C$6.7 million from C$9.2 million in 2012.

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