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Aspiring battery metals producer Pure Minerals says it has pinned down a simple, low-cost way to produce battery grade nickel and cobalt.

Investors loved the news, sending the Pure Minerals share price — which has been in decline since reaching a year-high  2.9c in December last year —  up almost 17 per cent to 1.4c by mid-morning.

In October, Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1) announced the acquisition of fellow battery metals play Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM), which wants to establish a 600,000 tonnes per annum battery metals processing plant in Townsville, Queensland.

The CSIRO was asked to review and evaluate a number of processing options which would convert a basic nickel and cobalt product — called mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP)– to battery grade nickel and cobalt.

Pure Minerals reckons MHP is worth just 65 to 85 per cent of the contained nickel and cobalt value, whereas battery grade currently attracts big premiums to the price of these metals.

It told investors that the CSIRO Process — applied at laboratory and up to pilot plant scale – is simple and cheaper to build and operate compared to alternative processes.

The Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1) share price over the past year.
The Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1) share price over the past year.

The CSIRO will now produce a sample of high purity, battery grade nickel and cobalt sulphate from nickel-cobalt MHP – to be sent to potential buyers, and as part of the upcoming scoping study.

“We are confident that the process flowsheet identified by CSIRO will produce battery grade chemicals and that it also has the ability to be scaled up at a commercial level,” QPM director John Downie says.

“Establishing the optimum flowsheet is an important milestone and will allow QPM to focus specifically on this avenue as it embarks on its feasibility work.”