Tinto Plc has agreed to sell its Eagle nickel-copper project in
Michigans Upper Peninsula to Lundin Mining Corp. for $325
The deal, which is
subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the
third quarter, the London-based miner said.
The Eagle project
includes a high-grade underground nickel-copper mine and mill.
Construction started in June 2010 and is about 55-percent
complete, Rio Tinto said.
"The sale of Eagle
demonstrates our renewed focus and discipline in the way we
allocate capital," Rio Tinto chief financial officer Chris
Lynch said. "We are making good progress on a number of other
The miner plans to cut
costs by more than $5 billion by the end of 2014 and is looking
to offload additional noncore assets, including its Pacific
Aluminium unit (
amm.com, Feb. 28).
Mining said that initial production is expected to start at the
Eagle project in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Production over the
first three full years is expected to average about 23,000
tonnes of nickel and 20,000 tonnes of copper annually, with
additional by-product credits of precious metals and cobalt,
and average cash costs of $2 per pound of nickel.
"The Eagle Mine
represents a very unique opportunity to acquire a high-grade
project which is under construction and expected to begin
generating significant levels of metal production and cash flow
prior to the end of next year," Paul Conibear, president and
chief executive officer of Toronto-based Lundin, said.
A version of this
article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal