Agnico Eagle, a major Canadian gold producer in the Abitibi region of Ontario and Quebec, is taking an ownership stake in Canada Nickel and its nickel-cobalt prospects around Timmins.
The Toronto gold company announced Dec. 29 that it’s acquired 19,600,000 flow-through units of Canada Nickel Company at a price of $1.77 per unit amounting to $34.7 million. Each unit is comprised of one common share of Canada Nickel. The purchase amounts to 12 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares.
Canada Nickel’s flagship deposit is its Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project, north of Timmins. It’s shaping up to be a low-grade but large tonnage open-pit operation with a 40-year-plus mine life.
Prior to this investment, Agnico Eagle didn’t own any common shares of Canada Nickel.
In explaining its segue into nickel, Agnico said in a news release that it’s spent the last two years evaluating the critical minerals scene, focusing on opportunities close to its neighbourhood in the Abitibi where it runs gold mines in the Kirkland Lake area, at Detour Lake north of Cochrane and western Quebec.
Agnico regards this share purchase as an “early stage investment” in a growing company with a stable of nickel-sulphide deposits on large land package with good upside in northeastern Ontario.
“Aligning with Agnico Eagle's well-established strategy of early-stage project investments, this investment represents an opportunity to establish a presence in an emerging nickel belt and monitor both the project's progress and emerging technologies relevant to its development,” the company said in the release.
Last winter, UK-listed Anglo American invested $24 million in Canada Nickel to take a 9.9 per cent ownership position.