Skip Navigation LinksMy Argus / News / News Story

Printer friendly

Canada's RNC targets EV market

09 Apr 2018 16:53 (+01:00 GMT)
Canada's RNC targets EV market

London, 9 April (Argus) — Canadian mining firm RNC Minerals will begin test work at its Dumont site to produce nickel and cobalt sulphate for use in electric vehicle batteries.

The company intends to use a sulphate roasting process to produce nickel and cobalt sulphate directly from nickel sulphide concentrate. This is expected to cut costs associated with traditional smelting and refining processes.

RNC Minerals aims to meet growing demand for battery materials from North American and European electric vehicle manufacturers. The Dumont facility's position in Canada's Quebec province makes it one of the larger nickel-cobalt deposits outside Canada, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Some carmakers have expressed concerns about China's dominance of the finished cobalt supply chain. The majority of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and then shipped to Chinese companies for processing. Cobalt is used as a cathode material in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, for use in electric vehicles.

The Dumont site has a total estimated reserve of 1.18bn t containing around 1.15mn t nickel and 126,000t of cobalt. Initial production is expected to total 330,000 t/yr of nickel and 1,000 t/yr of cobalt contained in concentrate. In February Canadian mining and metals investment company Cobalt 27 Capital agreed a royalty on the project.

On 6 April three-month nickel on LMEselect was broadly flat at $13,275/t. Prices for 99.8pc alloy grade cut cathode and rounds were assessed up by 10¢/lb at the top end of the range to $42.50-43.80/lb and prices for 99.8pc chemical grade broken cathode and briquettes were assessed unchanged at $42.70-43.50/lb.