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:: Joint Participation in the Development of Nickel Mine and Processing Plant in New Caledonia
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) (Sumitomo and Mitsui, collectively referred to as the 'Japanese Consortium') jointly have announced that they have reached an agreement in principle with Inco Limited (Canada) to participate jointly in the Goro Nickel Development Project (Goro Nickel Project), which is being promoted by Inco Limited in New Caledonia, and that they have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to negotiate definitive agreements with Inco concerning the terms and conditions of their acquisition and certain other arrangements covering their participation in the project.
Sumitomo and Mitsui understand that The Goro Nickel Project has a very extensive nickel resource base and its operations are currently expected to continue a very long period of time. The Goro Nickel Project is expected to start production in the late summer of 2007 and have a life of mine capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of nickel as nickel oxide and between 4,300 and 5,100 metric tonnes of cobalt as cobalt carbonate per year.
The Goro Nickel Project, headed by Canadian company Inco Limited, is the largest nickel development operation ever planned. Under the plan, a high-pressure acid leaching process (HPAL) will be used to produce nickel oxide and cobalt carbonate from the extensive laterite ore deposits in the southern Goro and Prony provinces of New Caledonia.
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