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  • Pure Minerals (PM1) has provided results of the pre-feasibility study for the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub Project 
  • The study outlined that the project can produce 26,398 tonnes per annum of nickel sulphate and 3097 tonnes per annum of cobalt sulphate 
  • These positive results provide the confidence to continue with the next steps of project development 
  • Pure Minerals has ended the day 11.1 per cent in the red with shares trading for 1.6 cents apiece 

Pure Minerals (PM1) has provided results of the pre-feasibility study for the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project.

The TECH Project forecasts the development of a new refinery in the northern Queensland town, processing 600,000 tonnes of laterite ore a year to produce 25,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate and 3000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate.

TECH will employ the processing technology developed and patented by Direct Nickel Projects, the DNi Process, which should result in lower expenditure and operating expenses for the project when compared to other operations.

With exploration and mining risk minimised via ore supply agreements, it is anticipated that Pure Minerals can move quickly through to a final investment decision and begin development in a much shorter timeframe than typical mining projects.

The recently completed pre-feasibility study (PFS) was undertaken by lead engineering company Lycopodium Minerals and had support from Boyd Willis Hydromet Consulting, Xenith Consulting and Saunders Havill Group.

The PFS assessed the development of a battery chemicals refinery in Townsville, processing nickel-cobalt hydroxide produced using the DNi process from ore imported from New Caledonia, to produce nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and other co-products.

It defined the project has a 30-year design life and can produce 26,398 tonnes per annum of nickel sulphate and 3097 tonnes per annum of cobalt sulphate per year at grades of 1.60 per cent nickel and 0.18 per cent cobalt.

It also identified several opportunities that have the potential to significantly improve the economics of the TECH Project.

These will be investigated in future studies and include the production of high purity alumina from aluminium hydroxide, upgrading the hematite product to enhance revenue and the assessment of various process and infrastructure to reduce costs.

“The PFS demonstrates that despite the smaller scale of the TECH Project, production levels are significant, project economics are attractive and most importantly, the capex hurdle is not insurmountable,” Managing Director John Dowie commented.

“We are enthusiastic at the outcomes of this PFS and will continue to pursue the opportunities we’ve identified to improve the economics and sustainability of the project going forward,” he added.

On the back of the positive PFS results, Queensland Pacific Metals will continue to advance the TECH project.

Planned activities include process optimisation, the commencement of a definitive feasibility study, and the progression of environmental studies and approval applications.

Pure Minerals has ended the day 11.1 per cent in the red with shares trading for 1.6 cents apiece in an $8.481 million market cap. 

PM1 by the numbers
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