IGO’s strategy is focused on metals critical to clean energy, including nickel, copper and cobalt, which are used in the manufacture of energy storage devices such as lithium-ion batteries.
Nickel sulphate, a chemical form of nickel, is critically important in manufacturing the cathode component of electric vehicle batteries, in particular those which use nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) and nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) based cathode technologies. These technologies are becoming increasingly popular given their high energy density which, in electric vehicle applications, results in longer driving range. There is an increasing trend towards higher nickel volumes in these battery types, driven by the improved energy density properties that can be achieved.
IGO has developed a new patented process (the IGO Process) that can produce a high-quality nickel sulphate product direct from nickel sulphide concentrate. Testwork and studies have demonstrated the IGO Process can deliver:
- Very high metal recoveries
- Low costs for the integrated production of nickel sulphate
- A more environmentally sustainable process compared to the traditional production methods for nickel sulphate, due to significantly lower emissions, power consumption and waste generation
- Ability to produce high-quality nickel sulphate for use in batteries
Having completed this important workstream, IGO is continuing to explore value creation from downstream processing aligned to clean energy through potential partnerships and collaborative industry opportunities, leveraging off the technology developed by IGO.