Chalice eyes potential critical minerals partnership with Mitsubishi

Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan’s largest trading company, Mitsubishi Corporation, to advance its Gonneville Platinum Group Element-Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in Western Australia.

The MOU, which is non-exclusive, proposes the duo will work together during the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) stage, with the goal of forming a partnership to develop the Gonneville Project.

It establishes a general framework for collaboration on technical, financing, marketing and offtake aspects of the project during the ongoing PFS.

Chalice, which has a market capitalisation of $589.3 million, is fully funded through to the completion of the PFS, which is slated for delivery in mid-2025. 

Managing Director Alex Dorsch says Chalice considers Mitsubishi as the best suited partner for the Gonneville Project given its decades-long development, operational and trading track record.

Mitsubishi, which has a market capitalisation of more than ¥14 trillion ($129.9 billion) has made several investments in Australia and globally across copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal, aluminium, lithium and nickel. 

These include the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance joint venture in Australia as well as investments in some of the largest copper assets in the world, including Escondida, Los Pelambres, Anglo American Sur, Antamina and Quellaveco in Chile and Peru.

“Mitsubishi’s involvement in the Gonneville Project follows extensive due diligence and discussions over the past ~12 months and highlights the longer-term strategic nature and value of the project as a potential large-scale, long-life and low-carbon source of critical minerals for Western markets,” he says.

Dorsch adds that the MOU allows for the progression and de-risking of the project prior to having good faith discussions around a potential joint arrangement and investment following the completion of the PFS.

Kota Ikenishi, Mitsubishi Corporation General Manager of the Battery Minerals Office, says Gonneville’s US Inflation Reduction Act-qualifying suite of metals could have a strategic importance for Japan in the future.

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Images: Chalice Mining 
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Written By Angela East
Managing Editor Angela East is an experienced business journalist and editor with over 15 years spent covering the resources and construction sectors and more recently working as a communications specialist handling media relations for junior resources companies.