Pure Minerals has announced its subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals has had success in producing samples of nickel and cobalt sulphate.
QPM, which plans to build a plant in Townsville, would use the direct nickel process to process high-grade nickel and cobalt ore imported from New Caledonia, where it has an agreement with two supply partners.
The direct nickel process produces an intermediate nickel and cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate which is commonly sold on the open market.
QPM director John Downie said the company “now has a complete processing flowsheet to take high-grade nickel-cobalt ore from New Caledonia and produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate products”.
QPM is working with CSIRO on the project, and Dr Keith Barnard from the CSIRO said it had great potential.
“This initial effort has confirmed the potential of the current flowsheet to generate nickel and cobalt sulphate products,” Dr Barnard said.
“The battery metals market is charging ahead and QPM is working with CSIRO to secure its advantage through process innovation.
“As the market develops for electrical vehicles and energy storage, the awareness of ethical and environmentally-friendly raw material is becoming more prominent.”