MONTREAL—SNC-Lavalin has announced it will exercise its option to sell its 5 percent stake in the Ambatovy Nickel Joint Venture Project in Madagascar to one of its partners, the Sumitomo Corp., for approximately $600 million in cash.
Ambatovy is a laterite nickel mine and a hydrometallurgical processing plant in Madagascar; it is one of the largest mines and integrated metallurgical sites in the world, with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,600 tonnes of cobalt.
“We are pleased to have been involved in building the Ambatovy operation with our joint venture partners these past seven years and helping this unique mining project achieve crucial key milestones over this time,” Robert Card, president and CEO of SNC, said. “With nickel being the country’s largest export, Ambatovy will continue to contribute to the country’s future growth and generate long-term economic and social benefits for the people of Madagascar.”
The company was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction management contract for Ambatovy in 2007. SNC said the mine reached financial completion Sept. 21 of this year, and the company has chosen to exercise its option to sell and has received its proceeds.
“This divestiture process is another step forward in executing our Company’s strategic plan to monetize certain assets within the Infrastructure Concession Investments portfolio,” Neil Bruce, the company’s COO, who is soon to take over as CEO for Card, said. “Ambatovy is a perfect example of how we successfully leveraged our operational and investment capabilities for the mining sector.”
Among other assets that could also be on the auction block is SNC’s 16.8 per cent Ontario’s Highway 407.