Due diligence has been completed on Pure Minerals’ (ASX: PM1) future subsidiary’s planned New Caledonian ore supply.
Pure Minerals plans to acquire Queensland Pacific Metals, which is a private entity with five-year ore supply agreements with two New Caledonian-based cobalt and nickel producers Societe des Mines de la Tontouta and Societe Miniere Georges Montagnat SARL.
Under the supply agreements, Queensland Pacific plans to purchase 600,000 tonnes per annum of nickel and cobalt ore from the New Caledonian producers. The ore will have minimum grades of 1.4% nickel and 0.15% cobalt.
Queensland Pacific will then treat the ore using the Direct Nickel proprietary process to generate a nickel and cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate. CSIRO is refining a flowsheet and the final design will be used create battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate.
To do this, Queensland Pacific plans to build a processing plant based on the processing technology in Townsville.
Meanwhile, Xenith Consulting was engaged to carry out site inspections at the New Caledonian operations and complete a due diligence report.
Xenith has now released its due diligence findings which confirm the New Caledonian producers use “industry standard mine planning and geology processes”.
The report also revealed experienced professionals were in charge of the operations, which are of sufficient scale to meet Queensland Pacific’s processing requirements.
To advance Queensland Pacific’s plans, it has formed a working group with the New Caledonian producers.
Nickel and cobalt sulphate production
Late last month, Pure Minerals reported CSIRO had generated nickel and cobalt sulphate using the Direct Nickel process and its own flowsheet.
CSIRO used several steps to produce the battery-grade material, which also liberated manganese dioxide, which is a potential co-product.
Queensland Pacific and CSIRO continue to work together to optimise the flowsheet for treating the New Caledonian ore.
Pure Minerals anticipates it will make a binding decision on its acquisition of Queensland Pacific by early March next year.