Eramet Seeks New Partners for Indonesia’s Weda Bay Nickel Project: CEO (Reuters/Jakarta Globe – July 7, 2016)

Tokyo. French mining and metals group Eramet said on Thursday (07/07) it was seeking new partners for its Weda Bay nickel project in Indonesia after two Japanese partners left.

“We are seeking partners. We’ve contacted some other groups including Japanese companies,” Eramet chairman and chief executive Patrick Buffet told a news conference in Tokyo. “We think there are very few deposits of this quality,” he said.

Mitsubishi Corp and Pacific Metals said in April that they will sell their stakes in the Weda Bay project to Eramet for about 11 billion yen ($108.94 million) due to slumping prices.

The project was previously put on hold due to a downturn in the nickel market. Eramet’s Buffet emphasized that the project is being suspended, but not stopped.

Asked about the company’s outlook on prices of nickel, which is used to make stainless steel, Paul Desportes, Eramet’s vice president of sales and marketing in its nickel division, said the market would likely move higher as it will be in deficit of 50,000-70,000 metric tons this year.

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