Indiana optimistic of Tanzanian nickel resolution after government meetings
Indiana Resources remains optimistic of resolving a dispute over nickel assets in Tanzania after engaging in negotiations with the nation’s government earlier this month.
Indiana (ASX:IDA) is the majority shareholder of the Tier-1 Ntaka Hill nickel sulphide project in southern Tanzania, which is currently the subject of arbitration through the International Centre for Settlement of Investments Disputes (ICSID) after the asset was expropriated by the Tanzanian government in 2019 following legislative changes.
Ntaka Hill is an advanced, development ready asset which hosts an estimated JORC mineral resource of 56.2 million tonnes at 0.63% nickel, 0.14% copper and 0.02% cobalt for 356,380t contained nickel.
Arbitration is currently ongoing, with Indiana previously stating it was seeking US$93.7 million in compensation for its significant investment towards project development over many years. A considerable sum given Indiana currently has a market capitalisation of A$26 million.
In a positive move, Indiana’s management was recently invited by the government of Tanzania to attend meetings discussing options for an amicable settlement of the dispute.
The meetings were held in Dar Es Salaam with the Special Presidential Government Negotiation Team constituted by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Indiana Executive Chair Bronwyn Barnes said the company was encouraged by the development.
“We are encouraged to have been invited by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to attend recent meetings in Dar Es Salaam to discuss potential options to resolve the dispute,” she said.
“The company remains hopeful that the dispute may be resolved through continuing good faith negotiations and remains committed to engaging with Tanzania to try reach that goal, whilst continuing to prepare for the final arbitration hearing in February 2023.”
A further meeting has been scheduled for early May to continue discussions, and arbitration proceedings will continue over the course of the year unless a resolution agreement is reached between the parties before the final hearing.
Stockhead also understands Indiana is actively pursuing a potential settlement that would see the return of the Ntaka Hill Nickel Project to the company. This would be a considerable development given the growing demand for nickel to feed the electric vehicle market and a lack of new nickel projects coming online globally.
As majority shareholder in Ntaka Hill, Indiana is the JV manager and responsible for all activities with regards to the project and its pending arbitration.
Meanwhile, Indiana continues its work at the Central Gawler Gold Project in South Australia, where RC drilling recently returned substantial hits it said would assist in the definition of high grade gold zones.
More drilling at Central Gawler is expected to take place this month, with a proposed program designed to infill existing drill hole coverage in the south-eastern portion of the orebody.
This article was developed in collaboration with Indiana Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.