Transforming Waste into Revenue: QPM’s Limonite Ore Processing Capabilities
Nickel laterite ores have two distinct sections of the ore body: the limonite zone (top layer) which is iron rich and the saprolite zone (bottom layer) which is magnesium rich.
The majority of the world’s nickel ore trade is for saprolite ore, which is processed in Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) plants. However, QPM has targeted limonite ore feed, which is in abundance and has limited competition with other buyers. This is because QPM’s proprietary DNi Process™ can process the entire nickel laterite ore profile, including limonite, which is traditionally considered a waste material.
QPM’s TECH Project offers a long-term solution for processing limonite, which is beneficial for both QPM and the ore supplier. This mutually beneficial partnership allows for responsible sourcing of raw materials while also providing economic benefits for the ore supplier. With the binding ore supply agreements already secured, QPM is well positioned to continue providing sustainable solutions for the nickel industry.
Securing Sustainable Ore Supply: QPM’s Binding Ore Supply Agreements
Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) is pleased to have entered into three binding ore supply agreements with Société Le Nickel (SLN), Société des Mines de la Tontouta (SMT) and Société Minière Georges Montagnat (SMGM), three significant mining companies in New Caledonia. These agreements secure up to 1,800,000 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of nickel ore per annum for QPM.
The first agreement, executed with SLN (the world’s number 1 producer of ferronickel), is for up to 1,000,000 wmt of nickel ore per annum. The ore is targeting a typical limonite ore specification of 1.6% Ni and 0.18% Co. The agreement has a five-year term with a five-year extension, subject to mutual agreement. The purchase of limonite ore by QPM is mutually beneficial as there are limited consumers of pure limonite ore globally. QPM’s TECH Project offers a long-term solution to processing limonite, as New Caledonia has large quantities of in-situ limonite that needs a processing solution. SLN and QPM have also agreed to continue to explore other partnership opportunities regarding additional ore supply and potential TECH Project participation.
SLN’s parent company Eramet is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange.
The second agreement, executed with SMT, is for up to 600,000 wmt of nickel ore per annum. The ore is targeting the same limonite ore specification as the SLN agreement. The agreement has a ten-year term. QPM and SMT have also agreed to explore further opportunities for mutual investment and commercial arrangements.
The third agreement, executed with SMGM, is for up to 200,000 wmt of nickel ore per annum. The agreement is for a ten-year term and provides further diversity, redundancy and de-risking of QPM’s ore supply.
In combination, these agreements secure QPM’s ore supply requirements for the TECH Project, and demonstrate QPM’s commitment to responsible sourcing of raw materials. QPM is proud to have formed these partnerships with SLN and SMT, and looks forward to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.