JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Black-controlled Thakadu Battery Materials, a pioneering South African high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate developer, has made its first drawdown from South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) under a R152-million loan facility agreement.
The IDC loan is funding yet another important milestone in the construction of Thakadu’s modular nickel sulphate purification plant at the Base Metals Refinery of Lonmin Platinum, in North West province.
The cold commissioning of the R250-million plant, which will have the capacity to produce 25 000 t of high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate a year, is scheduled to begin towards the end of April, with commercial production planned for end of the first half of 2019.
The pure nickel sulphate will be used as upstream raw material for the rapidly growing global lithium-ion battery market, with the product’s end uses in stationary energy storage, consumer electronics and electric vehicles.
“We’re very excited to be pioneering the responsible supply of battery raw materials from South Africa for electric vehicles, at the same time as the ratio of nickel in lithium-ion batteries is set to increase,” Thakadu CEO Ruli Diseko told Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online in a release on Thursday.