Special Report: Pure Minerals has landed a second major South Korean lithium ion battery manufacturer as a potential customer for its planned new generation battery metals refinery in northern Queensland.

Pure Minerals (ASX: PM1) announced this morning that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to supply Samsung SDI with up to 6,000t of contained nickel a year from the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project.

The company said Samsung was seeking to purchase the nickel in a combination of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) and final battery chemical sulfate forms.

Samsung’s interest in becoming a customer of TECH follows on from LG Chem, the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles, signing an MoU to purchase up to 10,000t of contained nickel and 1,000t of contained cobalt a year from the project last month.

“We are consistently gaining traction with highly regarded end users who view Pure Minerals as a potential part of their future supply chain,” chief executive officer Stephen Grocott said.

“This is evident in the MoUs we have signed to date.”

Pure Minerals is now working with Samsung and LG to formalise binding offtake agreements. In both cases, the initial terms are expected to be between three and five years.

Larger project on the cards

The TECH Project, which is wholly owned by Pure Minerals subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM), will employ a technology known as the Direct Nickel Process (DNi Process™) as the primary processing method to extract nickel, cobalt and other valuable co-products from high grade laterite ore imported from New Caledonia.

A pre-feasibility study on the project completed in April detailed an operation producing ~6,000t of contained nickel (26,400 tonnes of nickel sulphate) and ~650t of contained cobalt (3,100t of cobalt sulphate) as well as high purity alumina and iron ore.

Given the MoUs with LG Chem and Samsung envisage the supply of significantly more nickel than provided for under the PFS, Pure Minerals is evaluating the potential to increase the scale of the project.

The company expects that a larger project will deliver a reduction in capital intensity, more favourable project economics, added credibility for the company and other benefits for Townsville and northern Queensland.

In announcing the LG MoU last month, Grocott explained that Pure Minerals’ original aim was “to deliver the smallest commercially sized project that would be economically viable and fundable”.

But the involvement of LG and Samsung meant the company could investigate a larger development.

Once plant size has been finalised, the intention is to formally commence a Bankable Feasibility Study and project approvals.

Earlier this week, Pure Minerals announced that QPM had formally secured the site for TECH, having entered into a binding reservation deed with Townsville City Council for land in the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.


This story was developed in collaboration with Pure Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

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