Prony Resources announces completion of transfer of ownership and a new beginning for New Caledonia’s Usine du Sud
Nouméa, 31 March 2021 - The Prony Resources New Caledonia consortium (“Prony Resources”) today announces the successful completion of its acquisition of Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie S.A.S. from Vale. The transaction means that New Caledonia’s Usine du Sud will be majority owned by New Caledonian interests, including Prony Resources employees, communities and government entity Société de Participation Minière du Sud Calédonien SAS (SPMSC) who together will hold a 51 percent non-dilutable shareholding in Prony Resources. Trafigura holds a 19 percent shareholding in the operation, together with an offtake agreement for the Goro Resources nickel production. Prony Resources management and international investment firm Agio Global indirectly hold the remaining 30 percent shareholding.
Antonin Beurrier, Chief Executive of Prony Resources New Caledonia said: “Today’s announcement comes after several months of negotiations that have led to the successful transfer of ownership of the Usine du Sud operation to become 51 percent owned by local New Caledonian interests. It ensures a successful and sustainable future for the operation that will preserve 3,000 direct and indirect jobs and ensure the successful completion of Project Lucy for dry storage of tailings, the largest private investment on the island for the next three years, creating 600 new jobs.”
Jeremy Weir, Trafigura Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased to support the Prony Resources New Caledonia consortium as a minority shareholder and to provide our commercial expertise to secure access to international markets for Goro Resources nickel – a vital component in lithium-ion batteries required for electric vehicles.”
James Dean, Founding Director for international investment firm Agio Global said: “We’re delighted to be co-investing with the management team in Prony Resources. We will also be contributing our commercial expertise to help secure the long-term future and profitability of the operation in New Caledonia. We believe there is significant upside for Prony Resources to benefit from the growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and our confidence is further underpinned by the presence of Trafigura as an international shareholder and in providing the operation with world-class marketing and commercial expertise.”
Tesla will provide technical support through a technical and industrial partnership with Prony Resources.
Operations at Prony Resources recommenced this week with the restart of nickel production expected in mid April 2021.
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Notes to editors
Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. Trafigura sources, stores, transports and delivers a range of raw materials (including oil and refined products and metals and minerals) to clients around the world and has recently established a power and renewables trading division.
The trading business is supported by industrial and financial assets, including a majority ownership of global zinc and lead producer Nyrstar which has mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, Americas and Australia; a significant shareholding in global oil products storage and distribution company Puma Energy; global terminals, warehousing and logistics operator Impala Terminals; Trafigura's Mining Group; and Galena Asset Management.
With circa 850 shareholders, Trafigura is owned by its employees. Over 8,500 employees who work in 48 countries around the world. Trafigura has achieved substantial growth over recent years, growing revenue from USD12 billion in 2003 to USD147 billion in 2020. The Group has been connecting its customers to the global economy for more than two decades, growing prosperity by advancing trade.