Nickel 28 Capital Corp (TSXV: NKL) this morning provided production results for its largest asset, the Ramu Nickel-Cobalt in Papua New Guinea. The company currently holds an 8.56% stake in the operation via a joint venture arrangement.
The operation saw record first quarter production, following minimal maintenance in the quarter, while cash costs net of byproduct revenue were $1.70 per pound of contained nickel. The operation also enjoyed heightened nickel pricing, with LME nickel up 10% over the prior quarter, with pricing averaging out to $7.97 per pound through the quarter, while cobalt saw its average climb from $15.73 to $21.71 on a per pound basis.
Notably, the quarter saw the operation generate over $160 million in revenue, more than double the $80 million in revenue generated in the year ago period. Nickel 28 as a result expects to be generating cash from the investment by the end of Q2 as a result. Nickel 28’s share of the operating debt presently sits at less than $10 million, and following the repayment of this debt, the company is to receive 35% of the free cash flow from Ramu directly.
Ramu also reiterated its guidance of 32,000 to 34,000 tonnes of contained nickel and 2,800 to 3,200 of contained cobalt production for the full fiscal year. The first quarter saw the company produce 8,805 tonnes of contained nickel and 800 tonnes of contained cobalt, both of which are in a mixed hydroxide product, or MHP.
“Ramu is the largest producer of MHP globally and the appetite for this product by battery producers is increasing. This is evident in the improvement in nickel and cobalt payabilities we have seen this quarter. In the quarter, revenue exceeded $160 million compared $80 million in the same quarter last year. At current commodity prices Nickel 28 should be generating cash from its Ramu investment by the end of the second quarter of this year.”Anthony Milewski, Chairman of Nickel 28
Nickel 28 Capital last traded at $0.76 on the TSX Venture.
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