BHP has produced the first nickel sulfate crystals from its nickel sulfate plant in Kwinana, south of Perth in Western Australia.
The nickel sulfate plant is an Australian-first and will produce 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulfate per year when fully operational.
Over half of the plant was fabricated in Western Australia using local skills and suppliers. This included the steel work, fiberglass leach vessels and stainless steel tanks.
The plant consists of leaching tanks, purification technology, a crystallizer and dryer and an automated packaging system.
Nickel from BHP’s mines is processed at the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter, before it is transported to the Kwinana nickel refinery and refined into nickel metal (in the form of powder or briquettes). Nickel powder is then processed through the new sulfate plant to make nickel sulfate. The nickel sulfate will be exported to global battery markets from the Port of Fremantle.