BHP to buy nickel from JV partners

BHP to buy nickel from JV partners

Metallica Minerals Ltd and joint venture partner Metals Finance Corp have entered into a nickel supply agreement with BHP Billiton Ltd.

Shares in Metallica and Metals Finance jumped on the news, up 13.64 per cent and 10.64 per cent respectively at 1115 AEDT.

BHP Billiton has agreed to purchase all of the nickel from the mining juniors’ Lucky Break nickel project for refining at the BHP Billiton’s Yabulu nickel refinery in North Queensland, which is 140 kilometres from the mine.

BHP Billiton will purchase between 1,500 and 1,800 tonnes of nickel per year for the life of the operation, which is expected to be four to five years, based on an agreed percentage of the London Metals Exchange price for the metal.

Construction of the Lucky Break project, which is being managed and funded by Metals Finance, has started and commissioning is scheduled for late 2008.

Shares Metallica were six cents higher at 50 cents at 1121 AEDT and Metals Finance shares were up two cents at 25.5 cents.

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