Atlantic and Appian have announced the first sale of nickel concentrate from the Santa Rita nickel sulphide re-start project located in Brazil.

Since the recommencement of blasting activities in July 2019, Atlantic has achieved several operational milestones on or ahead of schedule.

Refurbishment of the plant is complete, and the ramp-up of commissioning activities has resulted in early production of nickel concentrate. 

Atlantic has produced over 11,000 dmt to date and is set to deliver its first shipment in January of 2020.

On the back of strong commercial interest, Atlantic has looked to establish relationships with a diverse set of offtake partners, each with strong reputations globally. 

In line with this strategy, Atlantic Nickel has entered into a three-year offtake contract for a portion of Santa Rita's production and a US$40.8m ($59.4m) financing arrangement with Trafigura. The deal provides the remaining funding required for the restart of the project and establishes a strong relationship with a best-in-class global commodities trading firm.

"I am delighted to announce the official re-start and first sale from Santa Rita,” Atlantic Nickel & Appian Brazil CEO Paulo Castellari said. 

“This important milestone for both Atlantic Nickel and Appian demonstrates the technical excellence of our team who have brought the project back to production ahead of schedule in a safe and responsible manner. 

“Following our updated mineral resource estimate, Santa Rita is an asset with significant upside, with the potential for further expansion both underground and through an open pit satellite resource.

“The announcement further de-risks the project and I remain confident in Santa Rita's prospects as a low-cost, long-life mine that is well positioned to benefit from the growth in electric vehicles to generate strong investor returns".