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Fledgeling Townsville metals project draws in big names


Some big names are being drawn into a Queensland project that plans to develop minerals for battery production and have a financial investment decision in little more than a year.

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The CSIRO, James Cook University, Sun Metals and Hatch are among a list of organisations that have joined with Pure Minerals plan to develop a project with its subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals.

The plan is to produce nickel and cobalt sulphate for use in batteries.

Called the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH), the project is aiming at pilot plant production later this year and this week suspended trade in its shares to raise $4 million to help fund the development.

A pre-feasibility study found that the Townsville project would have earnings of $211 million a year and net present value of $1.08 billion and a definitive feasibility study is expected by mid-next year.

Pure Minerals said pilot plant development was progressing well and now had a management team that included people from ALS Global, the CSIRO, Direct Nickel and QPM.

It has also brought Hatch on board as a stepping stone to starting the bankable feasibility study.

The company has also struck an agreement with James Cook University for further research relating to the TECH plant and the potential use of waste in commercial applications.

It said if it was able to redirect a small amount of residue to commercial applications it would provide another revenue stream and would mean the Townsville project would become the world’s first zero-waste nickel-cobalt facility.

The company has already received expressions of interest from potential buyers in purchasing nickel. It anticipates that the first samples of nickel-cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate would be sold later this year.


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