10/07/2009 - 15:57

BHP starts Ravensthorpe sale process

10/07/2009 - 15:57

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BHP Billiton has today confirmed that it will start the formal evaluation of divestment as a potential future option for the Ravensthorpe nickel mine.

BHP starts Ravensthorpe sale process

BHP Billiton has today confirmed that it will start the formal evaluation of divestment as a potential future option for the Ravensthorpe nickel mine.

The company's official statement on the matter comes two weeks after WA Business News revealed that BHP was intending to put together an Information Memorandum.

Ravensthorpe was closed earlier this year, less than 12 months after it was opened. Over 1,800 employees lost their jobs.

In a statement, BHP said it has received "numerous expressions of interest from third parties regarding a possible acquisition of Ravensthorpe and will further test the market through this process".

"This is consistent with BHP Billiton's intention to complete the options study on the future of Ravensthorpe by December 2009," the miner said.

"BHP Billiton will continue to engage with the WA Government and local communities throughout this process."

BHP spokesperson Peter Ogden said a possible sale of the mine is one option the company is considering in the study.

The operation had cost $US2.2 billion to construct.

Billionaire Clive Palmer is being touted as a possible buyer of the operation after he bought the Yabulu nickel refinery in Queensland last week.

Professor Palmer did not disclose the purchase price of the refinery, only saying that it had been acquired for less than the $2 billion replacement cost.

BHP has previously said that it will writedown a total of $US675 million on the sale.

Prof Palmer has previously flagged expansion plans for Yabulu, which could involve buying Ravensthorpe.

 

 

 

 

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