Nickel West D-day nearing

WHERE to now for Nickel West, which BHP has long said is non-core and likely to be divested? Barry Fitzgerald may have an answer.

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Nickel West may be on the block soon.

As recently as November last year, BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said: "We are just finding the right time in the market to offload Nickel West".

After listening to the presentation by Nickel West asset president Eddy Haegel to Diggers & Dealers on Monday afternoon, it is a safe to suggest that divestment day, or D-day, is close at hand.

Just when BHP triggers the mandate for Goldman Sachs to find a buyer remains to be seen. However, most observers suggest the trigger will be pulled after BHP's US$10.8 billion exit from the US shale business is completed in October, meaning it will be calendar 2019 when the Nickel West exit will get down to the nitty-gritty.

Now none of that came from Haegel. However, what he did do at the conference was to outline ...