The Altilium Group and PT Indo Mineral Research, a part of the Sebuku Group, one of Indonesia’s largest mining conglomerates, have agreed to invest financial, technical, and logistical resources to accelerate the DNi Process’s implementation in Indonesia.
The DNi technique developed by Altilium allows for the extraction of nickel from ore that contains less nickel. When using this method, the complete laterite ore profile, including the limonite and saprolite minerals and the transition zone, is treated in a single continuous process. Nitric acid is used to dissolve the metals into a solution. It is provided in a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), the preferred feed material for cathode/battery producers, and refined into battery metals after delivery.
It also enables 99 percent of the nitric acid used in the extraction process to be recycled, according to Altilium. The business claims that a nitrogen-rich residue is produced that may be returned to the mine to encourage the growth of indigenous flora. Altilium states that numerous partners have indicated an interest in establishing DNi Process units in Indonesia, which has the world’s most significant nickel deposits. With the first plant expected to produce at least 20,000 tonnes of nickel in mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) per year at the very least. This nickel and cobalt would make roughly 500,000 and 250,000 lithium-ion batteries, respectively.
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One characteristic that has Indonesian resource owners happy is the absence of sensitivity of the DNi Process to ore grade, according to a statement issued by the British company in a media release. It is viable and lucrative to utilize low-grade ores because of the economics of the process. Australian researchers have previously experimented with DNi, with a prototype plant established at one of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s sites in Perth.
The results of these preliminary testing led Queensland Pacific Metals to commission a process plant, the building of which is scheduled to commence in 2022 and is estimated to produce 16,000 tonnes of nickel in MHP annually.