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Royal Nickel still in financing talks for Dumont

Keywords: Tags  Royal Nickel, Mark Selby, Dumont, nickel mining, Tsingshan Holding, nickel market, nickel, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Royal Nickel Corp. has said that widespread bearishness on nickel pricing has failed to deter “the investors that matter,” with the company still in discussions with Japanese mining houses for the development of its Dumont project in Quebec.

The company is in the process of completing a project feasibility study, which should be released in June, Royal Nickel senior vice president of business development Mark Selby told AMM on the sidelines of the Metal Bulletin International Nickel Conference in Toronto.

Selby said that while falling nickel prices and global oversupply have discouraged interest from some “general investors,” negotiations with many others are continuing unabated.

“We’re continuing discussions with a number of Japanese mining houses. They’ve been in this business over 40 years, so they’ve been through lots of cycles,” he said. “So yes, while (low nickel prices) have had an impact for some investors, it hasn’t for the investors that matter.”

Selby said that the project has attracted some interest from private equity investors who have only emerged in the last year. Many are enticed by the project’s location in the “low-risk jurisdiction” of Quebec, Selby said.

He added that the Toronto-based company’s recent deal with Shanghai-based stainless steel producer Tsingshan Holding Group Co. to help secure supply for a new plant processing sulfide nickel concentrate (, March 12) represented a “new outlet for the industry.”

“Today, as a concentrate producer, you have about half a dozen choices as to where you can ship your concentrate,” he said. “Like anything in China, if one person does it and it works, the next week you’re going to have 20 people trying it. So we think it’s a very exciting development—not just for Royal Nickel, but all concentrate producers.”

Construction on the Dumont mine is projected to start following the receipt of permits in 2014, with commissioning to follow in late 2015. The mine is expected to ramp up production in 2016.

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