The Australian Federal Government has rolled out the red carpet for Ardea Resources by stamping major project status on its Kalgoorlie nickel and cobalt operation. The decision could help the developer haul its hefty bag of battery metals to market.
Notably, Ardea is eyeing an end product in the form of mixed hydroxide precipitate, or “MHP” that is the input of choice for the lithium-ion battery industry. The company is pursuing a definitive feasibility study into the construction of a 3.5 million tonne per annum plant to produce the MHP from its sizeable resource.
The company boasts its Kalgoorlie nickel project as hosting the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world, coming in at a supreme 830 million tonnes of ore grading 0.71 per cent nickel and 0.046 per cent cobalt. Impressively, in tonnage and grade, the project even overshadows the Mt Keith deposit operated by the ASX’s largest market-capped company BHP.
To put the figures into perspective, the International Nickel Study Group forecasts the 2022 global demand for nickel will stand at about 3Mt. Alternatively, the company suggests it has enough nickel to produce 147 million electric vehicles.
The final bonus from major project status is that the company should expect to receive extra support, coordinated approvals and potential sources of funding to get the Kalgoorlie nickel project over the line.