Australia's Sirius says in talks to supply raw nickel to smelters
* Sirius says in supply talks with 3 buyers ahead of mine development
* Managing director declines to name companies involved
* But says supply of quality concentrate would help BHP
By James Regan
SYDNEY, July 14 (Reuters) - Australian miner Sirius Resources NL is in late-stage negotiations with a trio of major nickel smelters to supply up to 26,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate annually, its managing director said.
Sirius stock has risen more than sixfold in the two years since it discovered the high-purity Nova nickel deposit in west Australia, partly on expectations the concentrate would command a premium from smelting companies when output begins in late 2016.
Managing Director Mark Bennett said one of the companies involved in negotiations would probably take all the material, although he declined to name the firms involved.
However, he said that a steady supply of quality concentrate could help BHP Billiton attract more buying interest for the Nickel West division, which it is looking to sell.
"Nickel West's problem is it doesn't have enough supply of high-quality feed for the smelter - something that Nova would solve," Bennett said on Monday. Continuación...