Chalice, Mitsubishi sign MOU to develop PGE project in WA
Chalice, Mitsubishi sign MOU to develop PGE project in WA

Chalice, Mitsubishi sign MOU to develop PGE project in WA

  • 03-Jul-2024 9:19 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

Chalice and Mitsubishi Corporation have entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at collaborating during the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) phase for Chalice's Gonneville PGE-Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in Western Australia. Located on Chalice-owned farmland near Perth, the Project intends to explore potential technical, financing, marketing, and offtake strategies.

The MOU allows both parties to jointly refine the Project's scope before considering a formal partnership agreement within 90 days of PFS completion. Chalice is financially prepared to complete the PFS by mid CY25, ensuring independence in project funding until then.

Mitsubishi, identified as a tier-1 strategic partner, brings substantial expertise and resources as one of Japan’s largest conglomerates and a significant global natural resources investor. Known for successful collaborations in major mining ventures worldwide, Mitsubishi offers extensive capabilities in equity and debt financing, product marketing, procurement, and large-scale project development.

Importantly, the MOU does not prevent Chalice from pursuing other potential partnerships or transactions related to the Project, maintaining flexibility in its strategic initiatives.

Chalice's Gonneville PGE-Nickel-Copper Project, wholly owned and situated approximately 70km northeast of Perth in Western Australia, represents a significant greenfield initiative. Initially staked in early 2018 as part of Chalice’s strategic quest for promising nickel sulphide exploration opportunities globally, the Project revolves around the Gonneville Resource. This resource, identified by Chalice’s geologists in early 2020, is characterized as a shallow, tier-1 scale greenfield discovery.

Alex Dorsch, Managing Director & CEO of Chalice Mining, expressed satisfaction with the execution of the MOU with Mitsubishi, marking the start of a significant, long-term relationship. He highlighted Mitsubishi's thorough due diligence and discussions spanning approximately 12 months, underscoring the strategic importance and value of the Gonneville Project as a potential substantial, enduring, and environmentally sustainable source of critical minerals for Western markets.

Dorsch emphasized Mitsubishi's impressive track record in development, operations, and trading, making them a highly suitable partner for the Gonneville Project. The MOU structure, he noted, is advantageous as it facilitates collaboration during the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS), enabling project progression and risk mitigation before potential discussions on joint arrangements and investments post-PFS.

He further noted the collaborative relationship built over the past year, highlighting strong strategic, cultural, and operational alignment between Chalice and Mitsubishi. Dorsch expressed anticipation for advancing project studies, aiming to deliver the PFS by mid-2025 and targeting a Final Investment Decision by late 2026, reflecting their shared commitment to project success and sustainable resource development.

Kota Ikenishi, General Manager of the Battery Minerals Office at Mitsubishi Corporation, expressed satisfaction with the signing of the MOU with Chalice concerning the Gonneville PGE-Ni-Cu-Co Project. He highlighted the project's strategic significance, noting its potential to evolve into a large-scale and globally significant critical minerals asset. Ikenishi emphasized the project's suite of metals, including US IRA-qualifying elements, which could hold strategic importance for Japan in the future. Mitsubishi views this collaboration as a strategic opportunity to contribute to securing critical mineral resources essential for advancing Japan's industrial and technological goals.

The Gonneville Resource is notable for its rich composition of critical minerals essential for decarbonization and urbanization efforts. These include Palladium, Platinum, Nickel, Copper, and Cobalt. This strategic composition underscores the Project’s potential significance in contributing to the supply chain of vital materials crucial for sustainable development initiatives globally.

Located advantageously approximately 70km northeast of Perth, the Gonneville Project benefits from proximity to established road, rail, port, and high-voltage power infrastructure. Additionally, it has access to a sizable 'drive-in, drive-out' mining workforce from the Perth area, further enhancing operational feasibility and efficiency.

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