Canadian-based Sherritt International is about to close a financing deal for the Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar. They hope to announce a deal within a month. Ambatovy, owned 40% by Sherritt, is expected to produce 60,000tns of nickel a year. The Toronto-based company, which also operates in Cuba and Canada, said the project’s construction costs had ballooned to USD 4.5 billion, forcing it to seek alternative funding options to finance its share. Financing of USD 2.1 billion is already in place. Sherritt’s partners in the project are Japan-based Sumitomo Corp., Korea-based Resources Corp., and Canadian-based SNC-Lavalin. Construction of Ambatovy was slowed last fall due to weak nickel prices, but is now running full tilt and is more than half done. It is on pace for commissioning in the final quarter of 2010.