European Nickel buys stake in Atlas' Berong project


Posted at Jun 03 2008 01:01 PM | Updated as of Jun 03 2008 09:01 PM

Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday that European Nickel Plc has acquired the 18.7 percent direct stake of its partner Investika Ltd in Berong Nickel Corp.

This and European Nickel's purchase of a 19.3 percent interest in Toledo Mining Corp Plc, which owns 56.1 percent of the Berong nickel project in Palawan, amounted to approximately $48.0 million.

Shareholders of Investika are set to approve the transaction on June 27.

"The boards of Atlas and Toledo Mining have formally waived their direct and indirect pre-emptive rights of first refusal with respect to the sale of Investika Ltd's interest in Berong nickel," Atlas said.

It branded European Nickel's entry in the Berong joint venture as positive since this "will enable the company to quickly leverage off its large laterite resource base and accelerate the commercial development of one or more of the value added processing options currently under study."

European Nickel has commercialized a low-cost heap leach process for nickel laterites and is engaged in the extraction of nickel at a large scale in a plant in Turkey over a three-year period. It has access to BHP Billiton's technology, Atlas said.

Berong Nickel has been directly shipping laterite nickel ore to Australia and China for the past 15 months.