After inking a major offtake agreement and securing debt advisory services, Alliance Nickel is punching on with an all important definitive feasibility study (DFS) at NiWest to become Australia’s next nickel and cobalt producer. 

Its flagship NiWest nickel-cobalt project is advancing at a gallop towards delivering its DFS during Q4 this year, with contractor agreements and the finalisation of work programs underway.

Alliance Nickel (ASX:AXN) also sent six tonnes of NiWest ore to the SGS Canada laboratory for pilot plant processing into premium battery-grade material as part of a customer qualification process.

The company expects key outcomes of the DFS will include a revised mine plan that incorporates  drilling and testing of the Mt Kilkenny orebody.

Importantly, the Wanbanna deposit will also be included in the final DFS and may provide an opportunity to extend the mine life beyond its current 25 years.

DFS work is going to plan

AXN MD Paul Kopejtka said the DFS and detailed engineering is proceeding according to plan, with discussions and site visits by eight contractor groups engaged in the request for quotation (RFQ) process for contract mining at NiWest and logistics providers Qube and Aurizon all very positive.

“In conjunction with our study partners, potential service providers and suppliers, we have assembled an excellent team which is well equipped to deliver on this important milestone in the fourth quarter of this year,” Kopejtka said.

Currently, NiWest is expected to produce 456,000t of nickel in nickel sulphate and 31,400t of cobalt in cobalt sulphate over its mine life, with annual production of 19,200t of nickel and 1,400t of cobalt over its first 15 years.

Once into production NiWest will become one of the largest nickel-cobalt mines in Australia. 

Customer sampling

The six tonnes of ore sent to SGS is expected to produce a bulk sample for its recently penned offtake partner Stellantis – the carmaker of the Peugeot, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Dodge and Fiat brands as part of its customer qualification process.

The car manufacturer has invested $15m into AXN for an 11.5% shareholding.

Crushed and blended ore from NiWest for refinement at the SGS Canada pilot processing plant. Pic: Supplied (AXN).

AXN said it was currently in discussions with several other Tier 1 automakers and equity investors for further offtake agreements and anticipates to announce those deals during the second half of this year.

“The collection, crushing, blending and transport of a bulk ore sample from site to Canada for processing and customer qualification is an important step in our offtake strategy,” Kopejtka said.

“We are particularly eager to provide our strategic partners with premium battery-grade product samples to further embed our position as supplier of choice of battery grade chemicals.

“This continues to be an exciting time for AXN, with positive progress being made on all fronts.

“We are developing a project that will contribute significantly to sustainable low carbon transportation and we look forward to providing further updates in the coming months.”




This article was developed in collaboration with Alliance Nickel, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.