Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) has appointed Lycopodium Minerals Pty as the Lead Engineer for the prefeasibility study on the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project in Queensland, Australia.
Pure Minerals, the parent company of QPM, said: “With the acquisition of QPM being approved by shareholders and in the process of being finalised, Pure Minerals is excited to launch its planned battery materials refinery as the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub.”
The TECH project will produce nickel and cobalt sulphate chemicals required for the battery energy storage sector, with QPM immediately commencing the PFS for a 600,000 t/y battery materials refinery producing approximately 25,000 t/y of nickel sulphate and 3,000 t/y of cobalt sulphate and other valuable co-products, Pure Minerals said.
The previous scoping study envisaged annual primary production of around 25,400 t/y of nickel sulphate and 3,000 t/y of cobalt sulphate (containing 5,760 t of nickel and 630 t of cobalt), alongside some 221,000 t/y of hematite, 8,700 t/y of alumina and 4,600 t/y of magnesium oxide. This came with construction capital costs of $297 million.
Lycopodium Minerals Pty is a subsidiary of well-regarded engineering company, Lycopodium, which has experience applicable to the TECH project, according to Pure.
- Being highly active in the battery metals space, having undertaken many feasibility studies for clients in nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite;
- Completing a feasibility study for Direct Nickel Projects Pty or a nominal processing plant using the DNi Process™ (a pilot plant example from CSIRO pictured), which the TECH project will be using, and;
- Completing feasibility studies for other nickel projects incorporating downstream processing to produce battery chemicals, including BHP’s Nickel West project and Cleanteq’s Sunrise project.
The key responsibilities for Lycopodium under its contract with QPM are process, process services and utilities design and engineering; preparation of project capital and operating cost estimates; and compilation of the PFS report, including integration of studies relating to other work packages.
Lycopodium has also agreed to accept shares in Pure Minerals as consideration for around 20% of its estimated fees, according to Pure Minerals.
The PFS is expected to be completed in the September quarter.
Lycopodium Minerals Managing Director, Rod Leonard, said: “The outlook for battery metals is positive and Lycopodium is well positioned to carry out this body of work, having completed a wide range of studies for major, mid-tier and junior clients in this space.”