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Jun 10, 2005

Ambatovy nickel project

© Reuse this Name of the project and location Ambatovy nickel project, Madagascar.

Project description The project will involve the economic development and operation of the Ambatovy nickel cobalt property in Madagascar. The project is located in the east-central region of Madagascar, about 130 km east of the capital, Antananarivo. It is close to existing infrastructure, including road, rail and port facilities The Ambatovy resource is thick, uniform and near surface, which makes it amenable to openpit mining. Previous testwork has indicated that the resource is also amenable to pressure acid leach (PAL) processing, with good kinetics, high extractions of nickel and cobalt, moderate acid requirements and good liquid-solid separation response for both the ore slurry and PAL slurry.

Ambatovy will be one of the world’s lowest-cost nickel producers.

Value Capital costs for the project are estimated at $2,25-billion.

Duration Not stated.

Breakdown of main contracts Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) will operate the refinery in Springs, on South Africa’s East Rand on behalf of the project, and Dynatec Corporation will operate the mine and metallurgical facilities in Madagascar.

Client Dynatek Corporation.

Latest developments In 2003, Dynatec Corporation signed a joint venture with subsidiaries of Phelps Dodge Corporation to evaluate the feasibility of the project. In January 2005, Dynatec entered into an agreement to acquire the interest in the Ambatovy project held by Phelps Dodge, thereby increasing its ownership of the project to 100%. Through the agreement, Phelps Dodge will continue involvement in the project through its ownership interest in Dynatec. A feasibility study released by Dynatec in February 2005 indicated the potential for a 60 000 t/y nickel and 5 600 t/y cobalt project. In May 2005, Dynatec entered into an agreement with Implats for the joint progression of the Amabatovy Nickel project. Dynatec and Implats will initially own a 50% stake in the project. Implats will contribute $50-million towards Dynatec's share of equity contributions, after which all parties will be required to contribute their proportionate share of equity and provide their share of any guarantees sought by the financiers. Subject to regulatory approvals, Implats will provide a project-completion cross-guarantee of $170-million for Dynatec's portion of the financing guarantees. The feasibility study will now be enhanced and modified to allow for the refinery portion of the project to be built in Springs.

Implats and Dynatec will jointly undertake the detailed engineering for the project, including the modification of the February feasibility study. Modifications to the feasibility study and sufficient detailed engineering work to form the basis of the partners’ decision to proceed with the project are expected to be completed by the end of 2005 and to cost no more than $60-million.

Discussions are currently advanced with prospective third partners.

Participants Dynatec-Phelps Dodge joint venture and Dynatec-Implats joint venture.

Will any structural steel be used and if so how much? Not stated.

On budget and on time? Not stated.

Contact details for project information Dynatec Madagascar, tel 09261 20 2254030, fax 09261 20 2254412.

Edited by: Sheila Barradas
Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor
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