In July 2021, Sibanye-Stillwater further progressed its battery metals strategy with an exclusive put option to acquire French mining group Eramet’s Sandouville nickel processing facilities near Le Havre, France’s second largest industrial port. Sandouville has strategic access to extensive logistical infrastructure including shipping, rail and key motorways, supporting any future supply into the European end user markets. The Sandouville facilities currently include a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery with an annual production capacity of 12,000 tonnes of high-purity nickel metal, 4,000 tonnes of high-purity nickel salts and solutions and around 600 tonnes of cobalt chloride.
This transaction will enable Sibanye-Stillwater to build a leading battery metals platform in Europe. It is seen as a low risk entry into the nickel beneficiation business and the initial focus will be on ramping up throughput as per Eramet’s existing plans. As part of the due diligence, Sibanye-Stillwater completed a scoping study to further upgrade the Sandouville facilities to target specific nickel battery metal products in order to unlock the full potential of these facilities and their location. A detailed investment and development plan will be provided in due course.