Pure Minerals Ltd (ASX:PM1) has made substantial progress on the process design, configuration and commercial structure advancing engineering and pre-feasibility study (PFS) work for the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project in North Queensland.
The TECH Project being advanced by Pure Minerals' wholly-owned subsidiary, Queensland Pacific Metals Pty Ltd (QPM), is envisaged as a modern refinery producing nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate for the rapidly expanding EV market, as well as other valuable co-products.
In the company's September quarterly report released this week, Pure Minerals stated that it had secured a commitment from Townsville City Council for land to construct the TECH Project.
The primary focus for the PM1 team has been advancing engineering and PFS work with the Process Design Criteria, Mass and Energy (METSIM) balance for the complete process and (ASPEN) modelling of iron hydrolysis circuit, including liquid-vapour equilibria, completed.
Process Flow Diagrams, equipment specifications (including materials of construction) and general arrangement drawings have also been completed by Lycopodium.
The project will be about 40 kilometres south of Townsville at the proposed Lansdown Industrial Precinct near Woodstock.
The TECH project is well-positioned with ready access to power, transport, and water
Following the successful production of nickel and cobalt sulphate at bench-scale from mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) samples produced from New Caledonian ore, CSIRO and QPM completed the initial flowsheet selection for the refinery work in September.
CSIRO has started the next stage of work to prepare the flow sheet for the pilot-scale testing and feasibility study.
PM1 received a conditional commitment from Townsville City Council during the quarter for a block of land to construct the project.
The council is rezoning the precinct to a strategic high-impact industrial zone.
Other projects committed to Lansdown include the Imperium3 consortium’s planned battery plant.
The next step is for PM1 and the council is to negotiate a term sheet regarding the land and associated commercial terms.
During the quarter, QPM completed initial geotechnical investigations at the proposed site for tailings placement.
Ore supply extension
Subsequent to the end of the quarter, QPM secured an extension of the terms of its ore supply agreement with its New Caledonian partners Societe des Mines de la Tontouta (SMT) and Societe Miniere Georges Montagnat S.A.R.L (SMGM).
SMT and SMGM agreed to extend the term of this agreement for the TECH Project to 10 years from five years from the date of first ore supply with an additional five-year option period upon mutual agreement.
QPM is delighted with the support shown by SMT and SMGM in agreeing to this extension, particularly when taking into consideration the nickel ore export bans announced by Indonesia.
PM1’s cash balance as at September 30, 2019, was $2.06 million, with the company's finances supported by a share placement in the quarter raising $2.1 million.
The company will hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 14, at 10.30am (WST) at the offices of Mirador Corporate, Suite 2, Level 1, 1 Altona Street, West Perth, 6005.