Monday, December 17, 2018Canada's Leading Online Business Magazine

Royal Nickel Corp.

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Emerging Development in Dumont

Roland Horst is no spring chicken when it comes to identifying a good resource project. Horst has over 30 years in the mining industry as a geologist and an investment banker, giving him a unique and complimentary experience in the industry. Horst and the management team at Royal Nickel Corporation are a group that have the capacity to either make or break a project’s outcome. With so much experience, it’s easy to see how the company’s foremost exploration endeavour, the Dumont Nickel Project, has come as far as it has.

The Dumont Nickel Project
Horst says that his first encounter with Dumont was when he was a student, and he’s been interested in the monster deposit ever since. At the time Horst was at school, Dumont was one of the largest undeveloped nickel deposits in the world. Between 1939 and 1956, explorers discovered nickel in the Dumont region, and over the years many companies attempted to capitalize on the resource.

It was finally in 2007 that Royal Nickel first acquired an interest in the project increasing to 100 per cent in 2008, through the efforts of its chairman Tom Griffis. The project’s progress has been moving at record pace ever since. Over the past two years, the company has hired 20 people. Although private and well able to avoid some of the disastrous effects of the troubled market, Horst credits an excellent team to keeping things at Royal Nickel on the up-and-up. “Royal Nickel employs excellent people. We have six geologists on site, and only four people in our head office. We prefer to keep it lean with administration, but our team has certainly bulked up recently. Many of our board members are former INCO executives (Scott Hand, former Chairman and CEO; Peter Jones, former President and COO; and Peter Goudie, former Executive VP Marketing), and have just recently joined. But we believe we’ve got a powerhouse team that can push through any project” Horst says.

Royal Nickel boasts an outstanding board of directors, which is lucky enough to seat former NHL superstar Darryl Sittler. Sittler, explains Horst, is an important part of the Royal Nickel board, and is well qualified to be there. Sittler has been on the boards of several mining companies over the past ten years or so. “We grew up together, and we’re taking the director’s course together now. Our board is one of our strongest assets” Horst insists.

An advantageous location
Royal Nickel is well financed, and has already completed over 70,000 metres of new drilling. The location of their flagship project, Dumont, is extremely beneficial to the company completing upcoming milestones. Quebec has been known to be one of the best jurisdiction s for mining in Canada. Dumont is located in the Val D’Or/Amos mining region of Québec. The Dumont deposit has 365 million tonnes indicated resource at 0.32 per cent nickel and 258 million tonnes inferred resource at 0.31 per cent nickel containing respectively 2.6 billion and 1.7 billion pounds of nickel.

The deposit is located right off of a main highway, and is close to a railway that goes to a major nickel processing locale: Sudbury. Power supply for the project would come from James Bay, and natural gas supplied from the local area. “Our confidence in this project comes in part from the great infrastructure we’re working in. We can keep capital costs under control” says Horst.

It doesn’t hurt, Horst explains, that the landowners in the area and the communities are very supportive of Royal Nickel. “We have a great relationship, I’m happy to report” Horst says.

Community relationships
Royal Nickel recognizes the importance of strong community relations. The company has recruited an experienced Community Advisor, Jean-Pier Frigon. Horst says that Frigon “knows everyone in the Amos community, and has helped us gain support from the local communities”. Royal Nickel sponsors several local events, sports teams, and the company has close relationships with local mayors. A year ago, the company worked with their local chamber to set up an open house, to which they received a tremendous response – over 100 people turned up from the local community to discuss and support the Dumont project.

Getting ready to go public
Royal Nickel has plans to go public sometime in 2009, when the time is right. “We’re going to launch our IPO depending on favourable market conditions” says Horst, “when the market’s ready, we’re there”. The company currently has $13 million in the bank, but would like to be able to benefit their shareholders by being a public company. Royal Nickel’s private shareholders have contributed $35 million to the Dumont project to date. Royal Nickel plans to stay a “pure nickel” company, says Horst. He adds that “there are other opportunities, and we’ll look into other jurisdictions, but the trouble with doing something like that right now is getting access to capital”. Nevertheless, once in production, the Dumont project would propel Royal Nickel into the 6th place spot for nickel sulphide production in the world. “So obviously” says Horst “it’s of major interest to other major nickel producers. We think we have the potential to move up to be an intermediate or maybe even a senior company”. Stay tuned for updates on Royal Nickel’s IPO, and the Dumont project, on their website at www.royalnickel.com. The company plans to be in full production by 2014.

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