Thakadu Battery Materials on Wednesday officially marked the start of construction of its R250-million nickel sulphate purification plant at platinum miner Lonmin's Base Metals Refinery, in the North West province.
All major equipment has been ordered and key contracts awarded, including modular fabrication of platework and structures; civil, building and installation; electrical and instrumentation; control and automation and motor control centres and field isolators.
“This nickel purification plant is a flagship black industrialist project and we are proud to partner with Thakadu – such initiatives are key for beneficiation in South Africa and market extension for Lonmin’s byproduct streams,” commented Lonmin CEO Ben Magara.
The plant is projected to produce 25 000 t/y of high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate and cold commissioning is scheduled to begin in April 2019. Commercial production is planned for the end of the first half of 2019.
Over 60 permanent jobs will be created once the plant is fully operational.
“We are thrilled to see this commercial-scale operation producing battery-grade nickel sulphate reach implementation phase – a first for South Africa and a first for Thakadu. I would like to acknowledge and thank our partners Lonmin, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade and Industry for supporting us in making beneficiation a reality in our country,” commented Thakadu CEO Ruli Diseko.