Operator: BHP Billiton Limited
Royalty: NPI: 0.25% / GR: 0.375%
Franco-Nevada has both a 0.375% GR royalty and a 0.25% NPI royalty on lands including the Mt Keith nickel operation in Western Australia, located 460 km north of Kalgoorlie. BHP Billiton Limited (“BHP Billiton”) is the operator and the project is a large, low-grade disseminated nickel sulphide ore body with an open-pit mine. Franco-Nevada’s royalties cover 236 km2 and includes the Jericho Nickel Deposit located approximately 25 km northwest of Mt Keith. Jericho is a 50/50 joint venture between BHP Billiton and MMC Norilsk Nickel.
Mining commenced in 1993 with the first nickel concentrate produced in 1994. In its June 30, 2015 Annual Report, BHP Billiton reported that Mt Keith has an estimated mine life of 5 years. This is a significant reduction from the 10 year mine life reported the previous year, and there was a corresponding decrease in ore reserves due to lower nickel prices.
Mt Keith concentrator ore throughput is approximately 11.5 million tonnes per annum with 68% recoveries. Production capacity is 35,000-40,000 tonnes per annum of nickel in concentrate. Mt Keith is part of Nickel West, BHP Billiton’s integrated business unit for Australian nickel assets, along with two other underground mines, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery. In January 2016, BHP Billiton reported that Nickel West total production for 2015 was 89,100 tonnes of nickel but no significant developments were reported for Mt Keith.
|Total Revenue to FNV ($ million)