Despite Votorantim Metais Ltda.s plan to close its
smelting facilities in Brazil by the end of November, it will
comply with obligations under its sales agreement with Mirabela
Nickel Ltd. until the end of 2014.
Mirabelas main asset is the Santa Rita Mine in Brazil,
one of the worlds largest open-pit operations for nickel
sulfide. About 50 percent of the companys production is
earmarked to feed São Paulo-based Votorantim
Metais Fortaleza de Minas operation.
"Discussions were held
with Votorantim and Votorantim has confirmed to (Mirabela) in
writing that ... it intends to comply with its obligations
under the sales agreement until the end of 2014," the mining
company said. "Mirabela notes that Votorantim still intends to
close its smelting facilities from November 2013 and may only
procure a minimal amount of nickel concentrate from the company
in 2014. As such, Mirabela is continuing to explore
opportunities for new strategic, financing and offtake
alternatives and is in ongoing discussions with its
Mirabela has two
significant debt structures. Its $50-million facility with
Brazilian bank Bradesco is secured by the companys
contract with Votorantim.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.