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Jervois moderates SMP timing

The São Miguel Paulista refinery in Brazil

The São Miguel Paulista refinery in Brazil

18th August 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Triple-listed Jervois Global has “moderated” the pace of restart operations at its São Miguel Paulista (SMP) nickel/cobalt refinery in São Paulo, Brazil.

The company in January this year took a final investment decision on the restart of SMP, with the $65-million Stage 1 project aimed at producing 10 000 t/y of nickel and 2 000 t/y of cobalt metal cathode.

First production had initially been targeted for the fourth quarter of 2024.

Jervois said in its half-year financial report that first production from SMP is now anticipated to be 12 months from full mobilisation.

In the meantime, the company is continuing discussions with lenders and other interested parties, saying on Friday that project cost guidance at SMP remains unchanged with the near-term costs having been minimised.

Jervois earlier this year suspended construction at its Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in the US, owing to falling cobalt prices and inflationary impacts on construction costs in the US, telling shareholders that not mining ICO cobalt at cyclically low prices would preserve the optionality and inherent strategic value of ICO for shareholders and key stakeholders.

The miner recently said that it would only consider restarting the construction of ICO if the cobalt price reached above $25/lb.

In the meantime, the company has started work funded by the US Department of Defence (DoD) as part of a $15-million funding initiative under the Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office of Industrial Base Policy.

Jervois on Friday also told shareholders that the company was continuing to engage with the US Department of Energy and the US Export-Import Bank on further financing initiatives, saying the DoD’s funding award was an indication of the importance of a secure cobalt supply chain to the US government.

“Whilst there can be no assurance any additional funding will be received, Jervois believes US government support in developing a viable domestic cobalt supply chain is important given the energy transition and Jervois’ expectation that Western cobalt purchasers will increasingly prefer cobalt from sources with Western ESG credentials, such as ICO,” the miner said.

Meanwhile, Jervois is continuing its hunt for a buyer for its Nico Young nickel/cobalt project, in New South Wales, telling shareholders that as part of an ongoing portfolio review, the company had determined that it would consider purchase offers for the project.

The divestment process has now started.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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