Canada Nickel has announced that it has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Glencore to assess the potential of using Glencore’s Kidd concentrator and metallurgical site in Timmins, Ontario. This would allow Canada Nickel to process material from its 100%-owned Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project, located in the Timmins-Cochrane mining camp in Ontario.
As part of its exploration work, Canada Nickel has discovered nickel mineralisation in Main, East and North Zones with a total strike length of approximately 7km. Utilising existing infrastructure such as Glencore’s Kidd concentrator could speed up development at the Crawford project and result in lower capital costs. Glencore’s Kidd operations are located on the property of the Kidd Metallurgical Site and were built in 1966. The concentrator currently processes ores to produce copper and zinc concentrates and has a nameplate capacity of 12.5ktpd.
Canada Nickel now expects to complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) by the end of March 2021 and will undertake a feasibility study by the end of 2021. Should the studies yield positive findings, the company hopes to move towards securing a binding agreement with Glencore.
The proportion of nickel coming from sulphide ores over the past five years has declined as nickel, particularly in the form of nickel pig iron (NPI) based on laterite ore from Indonesia and the Philippines, has been suitable to serve rising demand from the Chinese stainless steel market. Several nickel-cobalt intermediate projects are also under construction in Indonesia that will process laterite ore. However, questions remain over the sustainability of these Indonesian projects, particularly with regards to tailings disposal, deforestation, energy intensity and subsequent CO2 emissions. This represents a potential advantage to junior miners developing battery metals projects elsewhere, a number of which are touting their positive ESG credentials. Roskill believes that ESG will become an increasingly significant component of the nickel market over 2021 and the years to come, with many OEMs ranking it among the most important features of their raw materials procurement criteria.
Roskill will soon publish its third updates to the Nickel: Outlook to 2029 report and Nickel Sulphate: Outlook to 2029 report, which provide the latest developments to supply and demand amid changes to the global macroeconomic climate. Along with providing an update to Roskill’s nickel market balance and price forecasts, they also include the latest key industry news developments.
Roskill will publish its Nickel Sulphate and Cobalt Sustainability Monitors in Q2 2021, which will provide clients with an in-depth understanding of supply chain sustainability for both markets and their key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. For more information, click here.
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