Metals X Ltd., developer of the Wingellina Nickel-Cobalt Project, had verified it has held preliminary talks with South Korea's Samsung C&T Corp. for a possible $2.2 billion investment into the project.
Both parties, however, did not provide the extent of details of their negotiations.
"We have held discussions with many international entities including the Samsung C&T Corp. All discussions are at a preliminary stage and we have not received any formal proposals," Metals X Ltd. said in a statement to the Australian exchange on Friday, in response to an earlier Dow Jones Newswires article.
The Wingellina Nickel-Cobalt Project, according to Metals X Ltd., could produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt in concentrate annually for more than 40 years. It is located at a point where the Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory meet.
But the distance poses a hindrance to its potential as nickel produce would need to be moved by truck to the Adelaide-Darwin railway and transferred on to the coast for export, The Australian reported.
"As a construction company, we are collecting information on many infrastructure projects all over the world to check for business opportunities," Sohn Soo Keun, spokeswoman for Seoul-based Samsung C&T, told Bloomberg. "The Australian project is one of multiple projects that we are collecting information about, rather than studying the feasibility of an investment."
Metal X Ltd. shares grew 4 per cent to close at 26 cents in Sydney. It is 13 per cent owned by Chinese nickel producer Jinchuan Group.
Metal X Ltd. is Australia's largest tin producer by output, with mines in Tasmania, and the ninth biggest in the world.