Teck (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B; NYSE: TECK) and PolyMet (TSX: POM; NYSE: PLM)launch NewRange Copper Nickel joint venture to supply critical minerals for clean energy transition across North America. Together, they plan to become the second nickel producer in the United States.
NewRange holds both the NorthMet and Mesaba copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metal deposits, two globally significant clean energy critical mineral resources located in northeastern Minnesota. The two deposits contain measured and indicated resources of 636 million tonnes graded at 0.252% copper and 0.074% nickel and almost 2.0 billion tonnes for NorthMet and Mesaba, respectively. Additionally, the deposits contain a respective tonnage of 400 million tonnes graded at 0.254% copper and 0.070% nickel and 1.27 billion tons of inferred resources. NorthMet comprises 262 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves grading 0.290% copper and 0.084% nickel. In total, the two assets represent approximately one half of the known 7.25 billion-tonne Duluth.
NorthMet is expected to produce 29,000 tonnes of ore per day over a 20-year permitted mine life, with first production targeted for 2026. Over its first full five years of operations, NorthMet is expected to deliver annual payable production of 30,000 tonnes of copper, 3,600 tonnes of nickel, 58,000 oz. of palladium, and 12,000 oz. of platinum. Estimates for Metsaba are currently unclear.
PolyMet and Teck are responsible for funding their pro rata share of costs related to the NorthMet and Mesaba projects. The owners have committed to an initial work program with an estimated budget of US$170 million to maintain permits, update feasibility cost estimates, and undertake detailed engineering to position NorthMet for a development decision following permit clearances, and to advance Mesaba studies.
Glencore has committed to support PolyMet's respective portion of NewRange's initial US$170 million work program and certain other costs and expenses in the amount of approximately US$100 million.
"NewRange Copper Nickel has potential to be a modern, multi-generational operation that will support North America's acceleration to a carbon-neutral future, build a better quality of life for people, and diversify and create significant economic benefits for northern Minnesota and beyond," said Tannice McCoy, the newly appointed general manager of NewRange following a 21-year career with Teck.
To learn more, visit www.NewRangeCopperNickel.com.