Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM) has announced that it has re-started production at the Munali nickel mine in Zambia. CNM acquired operational control of Munali in 2015 through a 10-year lease and royalty agreement with Jinchuan, with an option to extend this for a further 10 years. Since taking control of the mine, which was idled in 2011, CNM has developed a new geological model and sought to extract the nickel from the sulphide ore body more efficiently and economically. CNM expects to have ramped up the mine by Q3 2019, targeting 60ktpy of ore and 25ktpy of nickel concentrate by the end of 2019, with a nickel content of 12%.
The rising nickel price over the past two years, alongside increasing outlook for nickel demand particularly from the battery sector, has renewed interest in re-starting previously-idled mines. Nickel concentrate from sulphide ores can be more easily processed into battery-grade material than laterite ores, which typically require hydrometallurgical processing to be turned into battery precursor material.
Roskill’s NEW Nickel: Outlook to 2028 report was published in April 2019, while its NEW Nickel Sulphate: Outlook to 2028 report will be released in early May. Click to download brochures and sample pages, or to access further information.