Australian Mines is delivering 40kg of nickel sulphate (NiSO4) and 4kg of cobalt sulphate (CoSO4) this week to Korean-based off-take partner SK Innovation.
The company says the samples set a new benchmark for the largest known shipment of battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphates from Australian mined and processed ore.
They have been produced from Australian Mines’ High-Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) and solvent extraction (SX) demonstration-size processing plant in Perth, using ore from North Queensland’s Sconi project.
Australian Mines said it had achieved more than 98 purity for CoSO4 and 99 per cent purity for NiSO4 samples through the final crystallisation process at the demonstration plant
This exceeds SK Innovation’s specification for materials to be used directly in its manufacturing process for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, with the material requiring no additional processing or refinement ahead of its application in this process, being another first for an Australian resources company.
The demonstration plant is expected to continue to operate for the next 12 to 24 months and produce additional battery-grade material to supply SK Innovation’s EV battery manufacturing plants from ore to be sourced from the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland.
The company anticipates announcing delivery of additional and larger shipments of battery-grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate material to SK Innovation during October – November 2018.