Feb 03, 2021

Loan to accelerate TECH plant studies

Loan to accelerate TECH plant studies

TECH battery materials plant proponent Queensland Pacific Metals has secured a $1 million loan to advance technical work and start its definitive feasibility study.

The company is continuing pilot plant work in Perth to lay the groundwork for its planned manufacturing facility at Townsville’s Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

The key battery chemicals to be produced by the TECH project are nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate, to be extracted from ore imported from New Caledonia.

The company said Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) production was underway at the pilot plant, with the testwork continuing to validate the TECH process flowsheet.

Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) produced from the pilot plant (currently being refined
into battery grade nickel sulfate).

The chosen process is expected to bring environmental benefits, including negating the need for a tailings dam.

Queensland Pacific Metals said the pilot plant work had generated residue that had been transported to James Cook University in Townsville, where an assessment would determine if it could be used for other commercial purposes such as engineered landfill.

“Success will see the TECH Project have zero solid discharge, improving its sustainability credentials and attractiveness to offtakers,” the company stated.

Metamor Capital Partners has provided an R&D loan facility of $1 million, based on QPM’s forecast return as part of the Federal Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive.

“Outside of piloting, QPM has been progressing opportunities which further reduce capital and operating expenditure for the TECH project,” Queensland Pacific Metals said.

“Some of these options require testwork for further evaluation during the definitive feasibility study. The Metamor loan facility will provide additional working capital that gives QPM the confidence to accelerate work relating to these options so they can be evaluated without incurring delays.”

The original scaling of the TECH project, as contemplated in the pre-feasibility study, was for a plant that would produce approximately 6000 tonnes of contained nickel per annum.

However Queensland Pacific Metals is looking to scale that up to meet the demands of significant offtake deals with LG Energy Solution and Samsung.

The company plans to finalise the scale of the TECH Project in the March 2021 quarter, prior to the commencement of a definitive feasibility study.