Intex Resources ASA has partnered with a Chinese firm to develop the mothballed Mindoro Nickel Project.
Intex signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with MCC8 Group Co Ltd., a major Chinese state-controlled engineering and construction company, to develop the Norwegian firm’s flagship project on Mindoro island, Intex said in a statement.
The MOU was signed during a ceremony in Shenzhen, China on January 4.
“We are very pleased to see that Mindoro Nickel’s green mining concept has been met with genuine interest from one of Asia’s largest and most prestigious companies in the non-ferrous metallurgical industry, and a company that has a declared focus on modern environmental solutions,” said Intex’s CEO Jon S. Petersen.
“MCC8 has a strong financial background, but also a company that has a demonstrated capability for sustainable green solutions in its many recent projects,” said Petersen.
Under the MOU, MCC8 will be granted a Project Management Contract (PMC) and will form a consortium to undertake project finance, identify a project operator, evaluate EPCM contract options, structure off-take, and complete the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for a staged project construction.
MCC8 and its strategic partners will have a first right of refusal/option to buy up to 90 percent of Mindoro Nickel in a staged process for US$296 million. Intex Resources ASA will keep 10 percent of the project free carried and have the further right to buy back 10 percent for US$60 million after completion of the project.
The options are transferable to new financial or industrial consortium members being brought in. The MOU anticipates the project will be financed through a consortium of companies to be coordinated by MCC8.
“Intex is looking forward to see Mindoro Nickel be developed to the benefit of its many stakeholders, the Provinces of Mindoro Island and the Philippine Nation,” Petersen said.
The mining project covers 11,216.6 hectares in the towns of Victoria, Pola and Socorro in Oriental Mindoro and Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro.
But its environmental compliance certificate has been indefinitely suspended since November 2009 following an 11-day hunger strike staged in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources head office in Quezon City by members of the religious and indigenous communities and village officials of Mindoro.
Both Oriental and Occidental Mindoro provinces have laws banning large-scale mining.