NiVolt Technologies says it has mixed hydroxide precipitate production capabilities and is scouting locations for a hydrometallurgical facility in Quebec
A new hydrometallurgical conversion facility to process nickel concentrate may be coming to Quebec. The news comes from an announcement by NiVolt Technologies of successful production testing and advancement of a project feasibility study.
NiVolt is a portfolio company of Kinterra Capital, a Toronto-based private equity firm. Kinterra recently closed a US$565-million battery metals mining fund. Its holdings include a stake in the Dumont Nickel project, located about 60 kilometres north of Val-d’Or.
This week, NiVolt announced it had successfully produced mixed hydroxide precipitate. It is now preparing to conduct a feasibility study to establish a hydrometallurgical facility in Quebec. There it is planning to convert nickel concentrate into mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) and nickel sulphate for EV batteries.
“Our test results have demonstrated that a high nickel and cobalt leach recovery can be achieved and that a high quality MHP can be produced,” said Cory Kosinski, vice-president of projects and evaluations for NiVolt, in a press release.
“We look forward to advancing to the pilot plant campaign to validate the process conditions on a continuous basis and generate the necessary process design data for the commercial plant.”
Attracting battery component suppliers to Canada is a key focus of government efforts to onshore a battery supply chain.
“Our upstream nickel sulphide investments coupled with NiVolt have the potential to create a ‘first of its kind’ integrated battery raw materials solution in the province of Quebec, which will support Quebec’s participation in the energy transition and battery supply chain,” said Cheryl Brandon, co-managing partner of Kinterra, in a statement, following a recent exclusive interview with Electric Autonomy.
Kinterra is positioning itself strategically by investing in nickel sulphide projects in North America and Australia. Its stake in Dumont Nickel, assuming it goes into production, would provide raw material for the NiVolt plant.
Dumont is a nickel and cobalt mining project supported by hydroelectricity. Kinterra claims it is one of the largest nickel sulphide projects in the world.
Johnna Muinonen, president of Dumont, will speak at Electric Autonomy‘s EV Innovation and Technology Conference in Toronto on February 7.
Roadmap to success
Kinterra is already experienced in bringing plans for a fully permitted, large-scale nickel sulphide project to fruition. So it bodes well for repeating the formula for future investments.
NiVolt claims its production results include: 97 per cent nickel and cobalt leach recoveries and production of MHP containing over 45 per cent nickel plus cobalt.
It is now preparing to lock in its preferred site for its Quebec facility. Then NiVolt needs to secure offtake partners and talent, while making sure it is secures infrastructure and utilities.
“NiVolt will help to address the scarcity of critical minerals processing infrastructure in North America and Europe to meet the forecasted EV demand, all to help to further carbon emissions reduction,” said Kamal Toor, co-managing partner of Kinterra.