Leading Chinese Stainless Steel Producer Tsingshan Expects to Bring Plant into Operation in 2014
Follows Strategic Alliance between Tsingshan and Royal Nickel
Royal Nickel Corporation (TSX: RNX) (“RNC”) is pleased to report that Tsingshan Holding Group (“Tsingshan”), a party with whom RNC entered a strategic alliance in March 2013, is currently constructing the world’s first integrated nickel pig iron (“NPI”) plant to utilize nickel sulphide concentrate as part of the stainless steel production process. The plant is expected to begin operation within this year.
This significant innovation represents the first time that nickel sulphide concentrate will be directly used to create stainless steel. This innovation offers significant potential benefits to the producers of suitable nickel sulphide concentrate feed including lower costs due to simpler processing compared to traditional smelting and refining, and greater flexibility for more potential partners and customers. This plant is also expected to be possibly capable of handling nickel sulphide concentrate anticipated to be produced from RNC’s Dumont Nickel Project (“Dumont”).
Mark Selby, Interim President and CEO, commented, “The Tsingshan plant in China is an industry first and a positive development for projects such as Dumont. This process represents a new source of demand for nickel sulphide concentrate notably at a time when many NPI and ferronickel producers face feed shortages as a result of Indonesia’s recently implemented nickel ore export ban. We view Tsingshan’s investment in this pioneering process as a significant and positive development for the nickel sector, and for Royal Nickel.”
While the formal memorandum of understanding between RNC and Tsingshan (see RNC news release dated March 12, 2013) expired on December 31, 2013, the two companies are still in discussions with respect to 1) securing additional sources of near-term feed for use in Tsingshan’s new processing facilities and 2) the potential for Tsingshan to participate in the Dumont project through a concentrate offtake proposal.
About Royal Nickel Corporation
Royal Nickel Corporation is a mineral resource company focused primarily on the acquisition, exploration, evaluation and development of base metal and platinum group metal properties. RNC's principal asset is the Dumont Nickel Project strategically located in the established Abitibi mining camp, in the municipalities of Launay and Trécesson, 25 kilometres northwest of Amos, Quebec. RNC has a strong management team and Board with over 100 years of mining experience in the nickel business at Inco and Falconbridge. RNC's common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol RNX. 2
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