A new nickel project is set to commence in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The new mine and processing plant is estimated to be $1.165 billion.
The project will support the growing international battery market by processing mixed hydroxide precipitate from the mined cobalt-nickel ore.
The project has been awarded MPS, Major Project Status. This means that it will have access to extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency. This includes having a single-entry point for Australian Government approvals, project support and coordination.
“Globally significant nickel-cobalt projects like the KNP, combined with a benign environmental setting are a rarity,” Ardea managing director Andrew Penkethman said.
“With the award of Major Project Status, Ardea is well placed to provide a significant sustainable and ethical supply chain for the lithium-ion battery sector. This will be from the best resources operating jurisdiction in the world, being Western Australia.
“Ardea look forward to continuing to work with all stake holders as the company continues to advance the KNP.”
The MPS status of the project has major economic benefits according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“This will provide 1500 jobs each year for the three-year construction and 500 jobs a year for the 25-year operation. This project is a major project and will get every support possible from my Government,” he said.
The global critical minerals market is expected to grow exponentially over the coming decades, and Australia is set to play a major role. According to Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt, MPS projects are the key to boosting Australia on a global scale.
“This project directly contributes to our Critical Minerals Strategy by increasing the supply of highly sought-after materials for the lithium-ion battery supply chain and has the potential to boost Australia’s sovereign capability,” Pitt said.
The Kalgoorlie Nickel Project is straight off the back of a $119.6 million investment by the Federal Government to build an integrated nickel manganese cobalt battery material refinery hub. The facility was the first of its kind in Australia and is a major contributor to the nation’s booming resource sector.