Vale has idled its Goro nickel mine in Prony Bay, New Caledonia after New Century Resources failed to close a deal entailing the acquisition of a 95pc stake in the facility.
According to a statement from the Brazilian miner on Tuesday, the Vale Nouvelle Caledonie (VNC) project, which contains approximately 2.63mn mt of nickel, has reached the end of the three-month exclusivity period with New Century. The operations at Goro are now being placed under care and maintenance, with a shutdown imminent if no other party makes a viable offer to sustain VNC’s operations.
Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale’s chief executive officer, said that the company has made significant efforts along with the French government, in trying to reach a positive solution for VNC with a view to completely divest from the project.
New Century said it declined to sign the deal because Goro has never reached its full annual capacity of 57,000mt of nickel per year. In 2019, the mine produced 23,400mt while it peaked at 37,400mt in 2017. As a result, the company did not see the $200mn dollar investment as a profitable one in the long run.