Canada Nickel Ramps Up Ontario's Crawford Project: 'We Are Confidently Moving Into This Next Phase'

Zinger Key Points
  • Canada Nickel advances Crawford nickel project in Ontario with FEED kickoff, targeting first production in late 2027.
  • One of the most promising nickel projects has attracted interest from industry giants like Agnico Eagle Mines and Samsung SDI.

Canada Nickel Company CNIKF is accelerating the development of its flagship Crawford nickel project in Ontario. The company recently announced the commencement of Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) by Ausenco Engineering Canada in the district, where it also plans a $1 billion processing plant as a downstream element.

“As we continue to successfully advance Crawford financing and permitting activities, we are confidently moving into this next phase of project development,” said Mark Selby, CEO of Canada Nickel. “This maintains our targets of a mid-2025 construction decision and first production by year-end 2027.”

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The project boasts a massive resource, estimated at 2.46 billion tons grading 0.24% nickel, translating to a contained nickel resource of 13.3 billion pounds. A bankable feasibility study completed earlier pegged the project’s after-tax net present value (at an 8% discount rate) at $2.6 billion with an internal rate of return of 18.3%.

Over its projected 41-year lifespan, the mine is expected also to produce 52.9 million pounds of cobalt, 490,000 ounces of palladium and platinum combined, 58 million tons of iron, and 6.2 million pounds of chromium.

Utilizing conventional open-pit mining techniques, the project anticipates extracting 1,715 million tons of ore and 3,992 million tons of waste over a 33.5-year period. The mining operation will deploy a mixed fleet of equipment, including backhoe excavators, face shovels, and articulated trucks. Peak production is forecasted for year 11, with plans to integrate autonomous trucks and remotely operated shovels fully.

Crawford has attracted significant interest from major players in the mining and battery sectors. Agnico Eagle Mines AEM, Canada’s largest gold producer, holds a 12% stake in Canada Nickel. Additionally, South Korea’s Samsung SDI secured an investment deal in January, granting the battery maker the potential to earn an 8.7% stake in Canada Nickel along with rights to 10% of the project’s nickel-cobalt production over its lifespan.

Nickel’s essential role in electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies continues to drive interest in projects like Crawford. Despite a significant underperformance in 2023, amid a slump in prices that caused layoffs and mine closures, projects like Crawford are far too significant for the long-term green energy transition.

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Also read: China Defies Decarbonization Trend As Coal Imports Climb 16.9% In Q1 2024

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