Tag Archives: Jervois Mining

Metso Outotec to supply SAG mill to Jervois Mining’s ICO operations

Jervois Mining has appointed Metso Outotec to undertake engineering and fabrication of a SAG mill for its Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in Idaho, USA, which remains on track for first production from mid-2022.

Jervois awarded a contract for the design, fabrication and delivery of a 4.7-m-diameter and 2.5-m-long 750 kW SAG mill. The mill design will comfortably accommodate the nameplate 1,200 short tons/d (1,089 t/d) of ore Jervois applied in its recent ICO bankable feasibility study, the company said, adding that the mill will be delivered to site prior to end of 2021.

As part of the order, Metso Outotec will provide mill layout drawings to Jervois’s appointed engineering firm at ICO, M3 Engineering, so final site layout for upcoming site construction reactivation can be detailed and awarded in the June quarter of this year.

Jervois says it is working through a detailed design phase of ICO and will continue to award long-lead item packages in the coming weeks to schedule delivery to site of all major equipment by the end of 2021. This will enable it to meet construction schedule requirements and targeted commercial commissioning of mid-2022.

Jervois Mining looks to POX leaching to boost SMP nickel-cobalt refinery recoveries

Jervois Mining says it plans to integrate a pressure oxidation leach (POX) circuit into the São Miguel Paulista nickel-cobalt refinery in Brazil.

Jervois paid the first tranche towards its acquisition of SMP refinery in December after announcing plans to acquire the refinery in September 2020. The acquisition aims to complement its 100%-owned Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in the US, transforming Jervois into a vertically integrated producer capable of refining cobalt and nickel.

The company appointed Australia-based Elemental Engineering to commence sysCAD modelling of the SMP refinery flowsheet for optimisation of product integration, including hydroxides and carbonate products, oxides and sulphide concentrates as part of a feasibility study (FS) for SMP’s restart.

As a result of Elemental’s work, Jervois has determined it shall integrate a POX leach circuit at the refinery.

“The inclusion of the POX autoclave offers a number of advantages compared to roasting concentrates, namely high metal recovery, low overall operating costs, enhanced ESG metrics due to lower emissions and energy usage, improved refined product purity and compact installation footprint on site,” the company said. “Preliminary POX sighter testwork at SGS Perth Western Australia, in conjunction with Elemental’s work, returned satisfactory results.”

While POX comes with a higher capital expense than roasting alternatives, it is a commercially demonstrated technology with low technical risk, allowing Jervois to leverage its recently appointed commercial team, Jervois said. A POX autoclave better compliments the refinery flowsheet, unlocks sunk capital by debottlenecking the existing leach capacity and adds significant flexibility to future refinery feed options, it added.

Jervois will process sulphide concentrate produced from ICO via this integrated POX leach circuit, with Jervois’ commercial team actively pursuing supply contracts for nickel and cobalt intermediate products. The introduction of a POX autoclave opens up greater capacity to leach other hydroxide and carbonate feed products to maximise existing refinery capacity, the company said.

Third-party concentrates can also be potentially introduced into the POX to process with Jervois’s ICO concentrates. Early discussions with potential third-party suppliers of sulphide-based concentrates have been positive, with the company now openly engaging with suppliers to optimise the sizing and economics of front-end pre-treatment.

As part of this, a decision has been made to reserve the maximum amount of copper capacity at SMP refinery for third parties. A consequence is that ICO construction is being advanced on the basis of the production of separated cobalt and copper concentrates. Jervois’s engineering advisers, DRA Global and M3 Engineering, completed the ICO BFS on both bulk and separated concentrate flowsheets, with construction plans being implemented based on the production of cobalt concentrate (containing gold and low in copper) and a copper concentrate. Commercial terms were obtained for both separated products as part of the BFS.

Jervois says it and Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA), the current owner of the SMP refinery, continue to work expeditiously towards closing Jervois’ acquisition of SMP.

Jervois plans a measured and staged approach to the refinery facility restart. Initial refurbishment works will be completed to progress the processing of intermediate hydroxide and carbonate products followed by the integration of the POX leach circuit to align with ICO commissioning, it said.

Jervois is in discussions with suitably qualified engineering contractors that have the appropriate nickel and cobalt refining experience, have a significant presence in Brazil, and have recently completed a POX and metals plant installation, to award the BFS for the refinery restart. This formal tender process is underway.

Wood’s cobalt and copper refining expertise tapped for Jervois ICO project

Having recently sewn up the lead engineers for finalisation of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) at its 100%-owned ICO cobalt-copper project in Idaho, US, Jervois Mining has selected Wood as its preferred engineering contractor to progress the refinery scoping study at the project.

The ICO, planned to be the only domestic cobalt mine within the US, is expected to commence commercial concentrate production in the second half of 2021.

Jervois said Wood has expertise in the refining of sulphide concentrates through to both battery-grade crystal and refined LME copper and 99.8% LMB cobalt metal, which will be of use in this study. The company said: “Wood is well placed to lead the engineering study which includes an initial high-level review of commercially available technology for the refining of sulphide concentrates through to metal.”

Battery recycling technology and third-party feed processing will also be considered to highlight future market opportunities that may enhance the refineries strategic importance within the US and further improve the economic returns, Jervois said.

Mineralogy and metallurgical test work progressing at SGS will optimise the selective cobalt concentrate chemical characteristics and be applied in the flowsheet options study.

“As part of the current feasibility study being led by DRA and M3, preliminary results obtained from the SGS test work have achieved satisfactory separation and selectivity between copper and cobalt,” Jervois said, adding that locked cycle tests are planned to define the improved selectivity.

The Wood refinery study will be completed during the March quarter in conjunction with the previously announced feasibility study to concentrate.

DRA Global and M3 Engineering on board Jervois ICO cobalt-copper project

Jervois Mining says it has selected DRA Global and M3 Engineering as lead engineers for finalisation of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its 100%-owned ICO cobalt-copper project in Idaho, US.

The selection of engineers comes only two months after Jervois got its hands on the project following a completed merger with eCobalt.

Jervois said: “DRA and M3 have extensive study and construction experience across all the relevant unit operations for the ICO, providing a strong basis for successful BFS delivery. They were chosen due to their strong track record with relevant process plant studies as well as construction and operating implementation phases, as Jervois looks to move seamlessly into construction after BFS and project financing close.”

The joint engineering team has extensive global experience across both cobalt and copper mining operations and concentrator flowsheets, while also having a detailed understanding of project delivery in the US, specifically local conditions in Idaho and regional contractor capabilities, Jervois said.

Finalisation of the BFS will be based on a flotation mill processing 1,200 short tonnes per day (1,089 t/d) of ore, as well as ancillary facilities. The project will ultimately consist of an underground cobalt-copper mine, a flotation mill processing 1,200 st/d as well as ancillary facilities. The latter will include aspects such as the mine and related infrastructure, run of mine pad and crushers, fine ore conveyor and silo, mill and flotation, tailings, waste rock and water storage facilities, water treatment plant, soil stockpile area, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge outfall and non-process infrastructure to support the development and mine operations.

Jervois expects the BFS will be concluded in the March quarter of 2020 and summarised in a NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study soon after. The company has commenced a diamond core drilling program at ICO to supply metallurgical samples for test work to support the BFS update, and to infill drill the RAM deposit during initial years of envisaged mining operation.

ICO will initially produce and sell separate cobalt and copper concentrates as Jervois formed a view early in its due diligence of ICO that reversion to separate concentrates was commercially necessary in the absence of a US refinery. In comparison to the partially completed mine and mill, the refinery is at a preliminary level of study and technical certainty, and so cannot be realistically constructed within the same timeframe as mine to concentrate.

Jervois has commenced discussions with offtake partners for an initial period covering mine ramp up and stabilisation. Jervois will also commission a refinery engineering study to consider commercially proven technology to process concentrates, including third party feed through to refined cobalt and copper.

With the ICO BFS team now established, DRA and M3 will progress the engineering design for the process plant and infrastructure. In parallel, Jervois has commenced discussions with potential lenders and a data room is being prepared to facilitate due diligence. Upon project financing close and opening of the ICO mine portal and decline, Jervois expects a 12-month construction period with first saleable concentrate in the second half of 2021