Thakadu Battery Materials Secures R50m Grant
Thakadu is well positioned to bring to fruition this nickel beneficiation project with strategic support from the DTI and existing shareholders. Furthermore, the concluding of definitive agreements for debt funding is imminent, the company said in a statement.
The project has already seen major progress, including significantly advanced detail design. The next steps will include issuing final tenders and procuring of long-lead items.
According to Thakadu, the timing of the project’s execution is particularly fortuitous given that battery companies are increasing loadings of battery-grade nickel sulphate in nickel cobalt aluminium oxide and nickel manganese cobalt oxide technologies.
The Thakadu plant will produce 25 000t of high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate from the crude nickel sulphate stream of platinum group metals producer, Lonmin. However, installed capacity is some 31 000t so there is considerable potential to increase capacity and enhance project net present value. Two other saleable streams will be produced by the plant, namely cobalt hydroxide and a relatively pure sodium sulphate.
Commercial production is set for H1 2019. The plant will create some 60 permanent jobs, in addition to 200 employment opportunities created during construction.