Canada Nickel Company (TSXV: CNC; US-OTC: CNIKF) has inked a deal with Glencore (LSE: GLEN) to explore the potential use of the miner and commodities trader’s Kidd concentrator and metallurgical site in Timmins, Ontario.
The Toronto-based nickel producer would use the facility for the treatment and processing of material mined from its Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project, which is located 40 km north of Glencore’s operations.
“The opportunity to utilize the excess capacity and existing infrastructure at the Kidd Met Site provides the potential to allow a faster, simpler, smaller scale start-up of Crawford at a vastly lower capital cost,” Mark Selby, Canada Nickel’s CEO stated in a news release.
The executive added that, given the potential and significant change in the scope of the project start-up, the release of the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) would be postponed until the end of March. The delay will allow the incorporation of the new option if successful, Selby said.
The Crawford project, located in the heart of the Timmins-Cochrane mining camp, hosts a measured and indicated resource of 657 million tonnes grading 0.26% nickel and 0.013% cobalt.
Canada Nickel has completed an initial high-level assessment and will now proceed with a detailed analysis on the potential for upgrading excess capacity at the Kidd concentrator and/or utilizing the existing infrastructure in place.
The company said that if the study delivers a positive outcome for both parties, they will continue “good faith negotiations” towards a binding agreement.
Rather that inventing a new process or equipment to achieve its goal, Canada Nickel is exploring the use of various existing alternatives in the mining, milling and processing of mineralized material. These will include electric rope shovels and trolley trucks that use electricity rather than diesel wherever possible, along with a natural mineral carbonation approach for the deposition of waste rock and tailings during mining to allow material to absorb CO2.
Being a zero-emissions nickel producer would put the company in Tesla’s radar. The co-founder and CEO of the electric vehicles maker, Elon Musk, offered last year a “giant contract for a long period of time” to any firm able to extract the battery metal in an efficient, environmentally sustainable manner.