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NEXTDC achieves fresh records, Twiggy teams-up with IGO and Newmont ups ante in bid to woo Newcrest shareholders

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By Lorna Nicholas - 
NEXTDC NXT Twiggy IGO Newmont Newcrest NCM shareholders Whitehaven Coal WHC BHP OZ Minerals OZL ASX

NEXTDC’S high customer wins follows a record H1 FY2023, which generated underlying EBITDA of $97.5 million.


ASX-100 tech company and data centre operator NEXTDC (ASX: NXT) has onboarded a record number of new customers since the end of last year, with its contract utilisation increasing 43% to 120 megawatts.

NEXTDC chief executive officer and managing director Craig Scroggie said the company is well positioned to continue taking advantage of further customer growth across its critical digital infrastructure assets.

In recent years, NEXTDC has delivered Uptime Institute certified tier IV metropolitan data centres, in Sydney and Melbourne.

The new S3 data centre in Sydney has benefited the most from recent customer contract wins and is now at 46% of total planned capacity.

Mr Scroggie noted the company’s H1 FY2023 had been a record period, which built underlying earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $97.5 million.

NEXTDC describes itself as the only data centre operator in the Southern Hemisphere to secure tier IV gold certification for operational sustainability.

Twiggy teams-up with IGO

Via his investment vehicle Wyloo Metals Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has teamed up with IGO (ASX: IGO) to deliver an integrated downstream refinery to produce high-value precursor nickel-dominant material for battery supply chains.

IGO announced on Friday it had secured land in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area from the Western Australian Government for the proposed integrated battery material facility.

Wyloo and IGO plan to produce a nickel dominant precursor cathode active material (PCAM) at the proposed plant, which will be next to IGO’s joint venture lithium hydroxide refinery with Tianqi.

The proposed plant would use IGO’s disruptive nickel refining technology with PCAM production expertise and would represent the first commercial production of this material in Australia.

“The Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area is rapidly emerging as a globally significant battery material hub with existing lithium hydroxide production, established infrastructure and a skilled residential workforce,” IGO acting chief executive officer Matt Dusci said.

Mr Dusci said to capture greater value of the global battery supply chain, Australia needs to expand its participation including developing mid- stream battery chemical processing capabilities.

“We strongly believe that by bringing the right partners together, we will deliver a fully optimised nickel supply chain delivering low-cost, low-carbon, responsibly produced battery chemicals for the global battery and electric vehicle industry, to be delivered through an integrated battery material facility here in Western Australia.”

Newmont ups ante in bid to woo Newcrest shareholders

US major Newmont has upped its offer to value Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) at $29.4 billion in an ongoing bid to win over shareholders and create a global gold mining powerhouse.

Newmont’s latest proposal provides Newcrest with an aggregate implied value of $32.87 per share – equating to an equity value of $29.4 billion.

This latest offer is a 46.4% premium to Newcrest’s closing price of $22.45 a share on 3 February, which was the company’s trading price prior to Newmont’s first offer.

Under the revised proposal, Newcrest shareholders will own 31.1% of the combined group.

Newcrest’s board has granted Newmont exclusivity to undertake due diligence on its operations over the next four weeks.

Whitehaven Coal drops amid lower production

Whitehaven Coal’s (ASX: WHC) shares dipped this week after it revealed March quarterly production would be below guidance due to labour shortages and operational constraints at Maules Creek.

Managed run-of-mine production will come in at 4.3 million tonnes for the period.

Also blamed for the reduced output was congestion arising from limited dumping locations, and intermittent weather interruptions during March.

FY2023 guidance is now estimated to be in the range of 18-19.2Mt – below the previous forecast of 19-20.4Mt.

As well as lower production, costs have increased from $95-102 per tonne to $100-107/t.

BHP, OZ Minerals tie-up gets shareholder go-ahead

BHP’s (ASX: BHP) much anticipated acquisition of OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL) has finally been given the green light to proceed following a meeting of OZ shareholders.

At a meeting on Thursday, OZ shareholders voted in favour of the tie-up by way of a scheme of arrangement, which will see BHP acquire all the outstanding OZ capital.

Under the deal, OZ will pay $1.75 per share to its holders as a fully franked special dividend, while BHP will pay $26.50 per OZ share as the scheme consideration – totalling $28.25 per share.

The $28.25 per share offer represents a 49.3% premium to OZ’s last trading price of $18.92 on 5 August last year, which was the day before BHP made its public bid.

With the tie-up passing the hurdle of gaining OZ’s shareholder approval, the remaining step is the green light from the Federal Court of Australia.

If approved by the court, the scheme will become effective on 18 April and the takeover implemented on 2 May.