The Future of Nickel Laterite Processing
The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project will be a modern and sustainable producer of critical metals for the emerging lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle sector.
High grade nickel laterite ore will be imported from New Caledonia for processing at the TECH facility using a patented recovery and recycling process called the DNi Process™. The DNi Process™ is owned by Altilium Group. Queensland Pacific Metals has licensed the rights to utilise the DNi ProcessTM from Altilium. More information on Altilium can be found at its website Altilium Group.
The DNi Process™ is an environmentally friendly process for extracting nickel, cobalt and other valuable metals from laterite ore that ensures sustainability of natural resources. Key features of the DNi Process™ are >98% recycling of nitric acid, no requirement for tailings dams and minimal waste products.
Key to the DNi Process™
The DNi Process™ uses nitric acid as the leaching agent under atmospheric conditions, which returns >98% of the nitric acid for re-use.
Historically, nickel laterite ores are processed by High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL). HPAL operations use sulphuric acid leach under high temperature and pressure conditions. This creates environmental concerns due to the requirement of tailings dams and, in some cases, the dumping of tailings into the ocean. HPAL operations are characterised by high capital cost, long construction time due to exotic construction materials required, poor performance and failure to reach nameplate capacity.
Townsville Energy Chemical Hub “TECH” SIMPLE Process Flowsheet:
DNi Process™ benefits over HPAL include:
- Extraction of ALL metals from nickel laterite ore
- Shorter construction time as stainless steel can be used in plant construction
- Zero liquids discharge
- Very low solids discharge with potential for zero solids discharge if inert residue is suitable for engineered landfill or other industrial use