The company aims to develop a battery chemicals refinery in Townsville to produce nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and other co-products.
This refinery would process nickel-cobalt hydroxide produced using the DNi Process™ from ore imported from the nearby island of New Caledonia.
The PFS forecasts a 30-year operation generating $124 million EBITDA per year for a pre-tax net present valuation (NPV) or $880 million and post-tax NPV of $568 million.
Pure’s managing director John Downie said: “The PFS demonstrates that despite the smaller scale of the TECH Project, production levels are significant, project economics are attractive and most importantly, the capex hurdle is not insurmountable.
“We are enthusiastic at the outcomes of this PFS and will continue to pursue the opportunities we’ve identified to improve the economics and sustainability of the project going forward.
“The use of the DNi Process™ for processing nickel laterite, instead of traditional HPAL, assists in providing these advantages.
“The combination of the DNi Process™ and the high-grade ore supplied from New Caledonia are the two biggest advantages and points of difference for the TECH Project.”
Electric vehicle future to support nickel market
Downie added: “The macro fundamentals for the nickel sector are highly encouraging on the back of the continued growth of the electric vehicle market.
“Future nickel demand must be met by the development of new projects, including those where the primary ore source is laterite.”
Next steps involve commencing BFS
Given the positive PFS results, Pure will proceed with a number of work programs and plans to commence a bankable feasibility study (BFS).
Work programs will include process optimisation and recommissioning of the pilot plant to test the processing flow sheet and generate product samples for potential offtake partners.
Site location south of Townsville
A site for the TECH Project has been secured by Pure's subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals Pty Ltd (QPM) located 40 kilometres south of Townsville.
The TECH Project has been designed to operate for a minimum of 30 years, which is common for hydrometallurgical plants (layout below).