- Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) makes “significant advancements” in reaching its goal of zero solid waste at its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project in QLD
- Initial testwork undertaken by James Cook University shows that the residue would be suitable for use as engineered fill and has strong potential to meet regulatory guidelines
- The ability to use this residue as an engineered fill would mean that 100 per cent of the ore will be processed at TECH, effectively positioning the project as zero solids waste
- The combination of zero solids waste and negative carbon credentials would be a first in the resources sector
- QPM shares are up 2.86 per cent, trading at 18 cents
Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) has made “significant advancements” in reaching its goal of having zero solids waste at its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project.
Initial testwork undertaken by James Cook University has shown that the residue would be suitable for use as engineered fill and has strong potential to meet regulatory guidelines.
At the TECH Project, all valuable metals will be leached into a solution and then recovered and refined into saleable products. The remaining residue is around 25 per cent of the dry ore feed.
The ability to use this residue as an engineered fill would mean that 100 per cent of the ore will be processed at TECH, effectively positioning the project as zero solids waste.
This achievement will be an industry first in the resources sector, particularly in nickel laterite processing which typically requires large tailings dams that leave a significant environmental footprint.
Recently, QPM said it held a meeting with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) to discuss the testwork, potential applications and the next steps needed to finalise an end of waste (EOW) code.
An EOW code allows a previously characterised waste stream, such as the residue, to be re-classified as a resource.
Typically, as part of the EOW code approval, is needed to use a waste stream in a commercial application prior to final approval being granted. However, due to the initial results, DES indicated that QPM will probably not be required to undertake a field trial as part of the approval process.
This would eliminate a hurdle and fast track the company’s EOW code approval.
“Potential offtakers and financiers have been forthright in their communications to QPM regarding the importance of ESG credentials when evaluating battery metal projects. They are already delighted that QPM is already world-leading through our zero process liquid discharge, very small residue proportion and negative greenhouse gas intensity,” Managing Director and CEO Stephen Grocott said.
“However, we are now going even further than this to stamp the TECH Project as a global benchmark. Achieving zero solids waste lifts the ESG bar to a level not even under consideration in the battery material sector. Having been in the resources industry for over four decades, it is refreshing to see mindsets of organisations and people change to ensure that environmental impact is not just minimised but turned into greater environmental value.”
QPM and James Cook University will now undertake further geotechnical testwork on the residue and also environmental leaching testwork to confirm compliance with regulations.
QPM shares were up 2.86 per cent, trading at 18 cents per share at 11:41 am AEST.