The Thakadu Battery Materials production plant will source material from Lonmin’s crude nickel sulphate stream.
The plant is assured of a steady supply of unprocessed sulphate that would otherwise be sold as an impure product at correspondingly lower prices. The plant will be constructed at Lonmin’s base metals refinery.
[quote]Debt financing discussions are underway to fund the plant’s construction, funding which will complement the equity funding that has already been secured.
The next step in the project is the detailed engineering design in preparation for project execution.
Initial indications are that the R251 million plant will generate an annual pre-tax IRR of 47.3% over its operating life.
“The robust economics indicated by the DFS are fantastic for long-term value,” says Thakadu Battery Materials CEO, Ruli Diseko.
The project aligns itself with the South African government’s road map for the introduction of advanced manufacturing technologies, particularly of those that beneficiate and add value, to the raw products of the mining industry.
Thakadu is majority-owned by black South Africans, and its state-of-the-art purification plant will provide 60 permanent jobs when it becomes fully operational in 2018.
“We are pleased to be advancing a world-class beneficiation project in this country,” adds Diseko.
“This is a real South African success story, and we are immensely proud of what we have achieved.”
The CEO is also confident that globally competitive beneficiation can contribute to unlocking further growth in the mining sector as well as unleashing the sector’s potential for transformation.
The company has negotiated strategic partnership agreements for offtake that underpin the project’s viability with the first deliveries of refined product set to begin in January 2019.
Feature image credit: Thakadu Battery Materials