FOCUS: HPAL process 'not a quick solution' to battery-grade nickel tightness

Planned investment by China in high-pressure acid-leaching (HPAL) projects for nickel mining will materialize, but the projected production timeframes are very likely to be pushed back, and development costs are liable to increase, market participants have told Fastmarkets.

“[The Chinese are] looking to take advantage of the expected growth [in nickel demand for battery uses]. All of us are skeptical. It’s not impossible, but it’ll take a lot of work and a lot of money,” one nickel producer source said.
“Of course it’s going to be more expensive, and it’s going to take a bit more time, but it’s going to be done. I believe [these developments] will be successful, one way or another,” Jerome Baudelet, sales and marketing director for Eramet Nickel, said on the nickel panel at Fastmarkets’ International Ferro-alloys Conference in Lisbon this week.

HPAL projects are capable of producing class-one nickel for battery applications. Demand for nickel – specifically nickel sulfate and the feed required to produce it – is likely to soar as a result of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and the associated demand...


Charlotte Radford

Justin Yang

November 15, 2018

19:45 GMT

Lisbon, London