SIBANYE-Stillwater said today it had completed the €85m (R1.5bn) purchase of Sandouville, nickel processing facilities in France.
The transaction was first announced in November and forms part of the South African firm’s diversification into the production of battery metals. The deal was valued at €65m when it was first announced. The increase in the consideration takes account of net debt and working capital in Sandouville.
“Sibanye-Stillwater continues to evaluate the options for the Sandouville site in parallel with existing operations to target specific nickel battery metal products and unlock the full potential of these facilities,” the company said today. “A detailed investment and development plan will be provided in due course,” it said.
The Sandouville facilities include a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery with a production capacity of 12,000 tons a year of high-purity nickel metal, 4,000 tons annually of high-purity nickel salts and solutions, and around 600 tons per annum of cobalt chloride.
It is situated in the industrial heart of Europe at Le Havre, France’s second largest industrial port and has “… strategic access to extensive logistical infrastructure including shipping, rail, and key motorways, supporting any future supply into the European end-user markets,” according to Sibanye-Stillwater in comments it made last year.
Getting the deal away will be a relief to Sibanye-Stillwater which surprised the market in January when it announced it would not proceed with the purchase of two base metal assets in Brazil following a geotechnical event at one of the mines.