BHP to invest $50 million in Tanzania’s Kabanga nickel project

BHP has announced it will buy a minority stake in private Tanzanian firm Kabanga Nickel to accelerate the development of the Kabanga nickel project in the East African nation.

The initial US$40 million investment is part of a strategy to expand its influence in commodities required for the green energy transition, and comes less than a month after BHP lost out in a bidding war for Noront Resources, which owns nickel deposits in Canada.

Once approvals and conditions are met, the investment will convert into an 8.9% equity stake in Kabanga Nickel. BHP will also invest $10 million in green technology firm Lifezone, which owns the processing technology for the project.

Valued at $658 million, Kabanga hosts a huge nickel deposit that is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel, 6,000 tonnes of copper and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt per annum at steady state capacity. The mine is slated to begin operations in 2025.

The project will also benefit from Lifezone’s patented hydrometallurgical technology, which will provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly ore processing solution.

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with BHP. It highlights the world-class nature of the Kabanga deposit and its importance in helping meet the crucial decarbonisation challenge facing the world today,” said Kabanga Nickel CEO Chris Showalter.

“BHP’s investment reflects the project’s strong environmental and social governance credentials and its role in improving environmental performance throughout the nickel value chain.”