Indonesia’s Harita Group and Chinese mining company Ningbo Lygend’s joint venture, Halmahera Persada Lygend (HPAL) initiated its Nickel-Cobalt production project trial on April 27 in Kawasi Village of Obi Islands in Indonesia. It is estimated that the first batch of nickel and cobalt hydroxide products would be out by mid-May.
The process that utilizes a high pressure solvent leaching method in a high pressure chamber which uses low nickel content laterite ore limonite type with 1.6pc Ni and develops two intermediate products in the state of Mixed Nickel-Cobalt Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP). The production capacity is limited to 96,000 mt per year (Mi 37,260 mt per year and Co 4,577 mt per year). The outputs are nickel sulfate (15.4pc) and cobalt sulfate (1.89pc Co content). They would be the key materials for the batteries for electric vehicles. Beijing Easpring and GEM Co Ltd are two of their clients.
The limonite ore materials are taken from Mining Permit Companies (IUP) PT Trimegah Bangum Persada (TBP) and PT Gane Permai Sentosa (GPS), entities of Harita nickel mine operations.
The company received the permit for executing this project in January 201, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay.