The project involves shipping nickel and cobalt ore from New Caledonia to Townsville and then processing that ore through two stages to produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate.
New Caledonia is an island off the coast of Townsville known for its nickel laterite mining operations and deposits.
Once the ore has been shipped from New Caledonia to Townville, there are two stages of processing to produce the desired end products.
Stage one is known as the DNi Process and stage two is known as the CSIRO Process.
Pure’s managing director John Downie will be discussing the TECH Project and the ongoing pre-feasibility study (PFS) at the upcoming Proactive CEO Sessions.
PFS is based on a solid scoping study
The PFS underway is based on a scoping study that envisioned a refinery producing around 25,400 tpa nickel sulphate and 3,000 tpa cobalt sulphate over a 25-year life.
The refinery would also produce other valuable co-products including hematite, alumina and magnesium oxide.
The scoping study estimated project capital expenditure including a 20% contingency at US$297 million and annual operating expenses of $108 million or $0.93 per pound of nickel.
To provide context for the estimated opex, in early September 2019, the nickel price is US$8.51 per pound and the scoping study estimates a US$2 per pound premium for nickel sulphate.