Electric vehicles: investors bank on China demand in plan to revive Australian nickel and cobalt refinery – by Eric Ng (South China Morning Post – January 9, 2023)


A consortium of Hong Kong and European private investors are spending more than US$1 billion to revive a mothballed nickel and cobalt refinery in Australia by turning mining waste into lucrative materials for electric-car batteries.

They aim to turn the Yabulu refinery in Queensland into one of the world’s top 10 producers of refined nickel within 18 months to benefit from sustained demand and high prices for the metals, said Richard Petty, a Hong Kong-based businessman and one of the nine investors in the group.

Nickel and cobalt are among key materials for lithium-ion batteries found in electric vehicles and energy storage systems. They are key inputs in high demand as governments and businesses pursue a transition to clean energy and step up efforts to fight climate change.

“We have been in discussions for some months with some of the world’s largest companies in the electric vehicles and batteries industries,” said Petty, former chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau. “They are keen to enter into offtake agreements.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3206003/electric-vehicles-investors-bank-china-demand-plan-revive-australian-nickel-and-cobalt-refinery