Giga Metals to Continue MHP Production at the Turnagain Nickel Project
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Vancouver, British Columbia – (Newsfile Corp. – June 15, 2021) – Martin Vydra, President of Giga Metals Corp. (TSXV: GIGA) (OTCQB: HNCKF) (FSE: BRR2) today announced that the Company is studying processing expansion at the Turnagain Ni / Co project to include the production of mixed hydroxide (MHP) precipitates in its next phase of studies. MHP is a chemical form of nickel and cobalt that is experiencing a rapid increase in demand for its role in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.
“MHP is rapidly establishing itself as the intermediary of choice for the battery industry in the manufacture of metallic salts (NiSO4 and CoSO4) and is being pursued to directly produce precursors and cathodic active materials, “said Vydra.” We know from previous testing and engineering that Turnagain’s concentrate can be made into high quality MHP. “
Currently, MHP is produced worldwide at four commercial facilities: Ramu, VNC-Goro, Ravensthorpe and Gordes. All of these operations use High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) of laterite ores and the current annual global supply capacity is estimated at 125,000 tonnes of Ni contained in MHP.
In addition, six projects were announced, including five in Indonesia, which are expected to increase MHP’s production capacity to 400,000 tonnes per year of contained Ni by 2025. This would compete with the market for class briquettes, powders and oxides. I, which are currently the main source of raw material for battery grade NiSO4 and implies a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% in MHP production compared to an estimated CAGR of 4% for nickel and 8% for cobalt, according to a McKinsey study.
Historical hydrometallurgical testing has focused on lower grade Turnagain concentrates compared to the current high grade concentrate, as shown in the table below.
Concentration scores for previous tests and PEA assessment results
|Ni%||Co%||% Fe||S%||% mg||Cu%|
|Historical||4.5 – 10||0.2 – 0.5||20 – 45||10 – 25||5 – 19||0.2 – 0.3|
|PEA 2020 Concentrate (Table 13.8)||20||1.2||32||26||4.4||0.5|
As summarized in the PEA 2020, 17 historical tests indicated high extractions of nickel and cobalt (> 97.5%) under oxidation conditions under pressure at low and high temperature, and in sulphate and chloride systems. . The tests further demonstrated the ability to process the resulting leach solutions to recover copper and produce high quality MHP. Due to the superior quality of the solutions from pressurized oxidation of sulfide compared to HPAL laterite leach liquors, the MHP produced was a premium product with lower manganese (Mn) content than currently available in trade. Manganese is considered a deleterious element in MHP.
Mixed Hydroxide (MHP) Grades for Commercial Products and Turnagain Results
|Ni + Co%||% mg||Mn%||Cu + Fe%|
|HPAL commercial product (3 projects)||40-43||1.8 – 2.8||2.8 – 6.1||0.1 – 0.2|
|HPAL commercial product (Average 3 projects)||41||2.3||4.6||0.14|
|New project in Indonesia1(expected)||44||0.4||7.3||0.27|
|Turnagain MHP (historical sample)||49||1.4||0.2|
“There are over 30 facilities that are or are capable of processing MHP to produce NiSO4 and CoSO4 in Asia alone and that number is increasing, ”Vydra said. “We also understand that processing MHP to produce precursors and cathode active materials (PCAM / CAM) directly, bypassing NiSO4 and CoSO4 production, becomes a goal in an effort to reduce manufacturing steps in the lithium-ion battery supply chain and lower costs. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, MHP debts have averaged over 87% for nickel and well above 75% for cobalt in 2021. We believe MHP is moving towards a liquid and transparent market that will continue to offer debts higher than foundries. As the only large-scale greenfield nickel project in North America focused solely on the battery materials market, we believe it is important to demonstrate to potential investors and partners the ability to deliver a product that is more in addition recognized as the standard for the supply of raw materials to this industry. “
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
GIGA METALS COMPANY
Phone – 604-681-2300
The technical content of this press release has been prepared and reviewed by Lyle Trytten, P.Eng., A Qualified Person in accordance with NI 43-101.
About Giga Metals Corporation
Giga Metals Corporation focuses on metals essential to modern batteries, particularly those used in electric vehicles and energy storage. The Company’s primary asset is the Turnagain Project, located in northern British Columbia, which contains one of the few significant untapped nickel and cobalt sulphide resources in the world. Turnagain is the only Canadian undeveloped nickel project of this magnitude that focuses on the battery market rather than the steel market.
Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding the Turnagain Project. Forward-looking statements consist of statements which are not purely historical, including statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. These statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future financial or operational performance of the Company and its mining projects, the estimate of mineral resources and mineral prices, payments for mixed hydroxide precipitates, measures to be taken in view of the commercialization of the resource; the timing and amount of estimated future production and capital, operating and exploration expenditures. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do, what benefits the Company will derive from them. These forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management and are based on certain expectations, estimates and assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including the list of additional work before requesting a pre-feasibility study, and statements relating to exploration. and the future development of the Project and the estimates of mineral resources and mineral reserves relating to the Project. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements, including: (1) the mineral resource estimates relating to the project could prove to be inaccurate for whatever the reason, (2) Giga is unable to finance the project, (3) nickel and cobalt prices or project costs could differ significantly and make any commercialization unprofitable, (4) inferred and indicated resources may not materialize, (5) permits, environmental opposition, government regulation, cost overruns or any of the many other factors may prevent the Company from commercializing the Turnagain Project, (6) additional but currently unforeseen work may be required to move to the pre-feasibility stage, and (7) even if the project goes into production, there is no guarantee that operations will be profitable. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and, except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results differ from those projected. in forward-looking statements. Additional information on these and other assumptions, risks and uncertainties is presented in the “Risks and uncertainties” section of the Company’s most recent MD&A filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
1High pressure acid leaching: a technology newly introduced in Indonesia; Gultom T and Sianipar A – Harita Nickel; IOP Conf Ser: Earth Environ Sci; 413 012015 (2019)
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