The global demand for nickel is rapidly increasing. The DNi ProcessTM is the only proven method of maximising mine revenue whilst also protecting the environment.
Our revolutionary process doubles the world’s nickel reserves sourced from lateric ore, and almost doubles the annual revenue of a laterite mine when compared to the ferro-nickel process.
Eliminating the need to heat acid to dangerously high temperatures under hazardous pressures.
The DNi Process™ involves the leaching of ore at atmospheric pressure and a temperature of around 110°C. It produces the same two core products as an HPAL plant (nickel hydroxide and cobalt hydroxide in an MHP) but does not involve the high pressures nor temperatures that HPAL requires.
With straightforward set-up, our process is flexible and scalable with minimal risk.
The DNi Process™ is completely flexible when it comes to the blend of ore it is able to process. In the case of laterites, limonite, saprolite and transition zone can all be processed in almost any combination.
The simple flowsheet and our use of nitric acid means that our materials of construction are, by-and-large, just 304 grade stainless steel.
95% of the nitric acid is recycled, producing a nitrogen-rich residue which can be returned to the mine to rehabilitate the land.
One unique aspect of the DNi Process™ is that it is the first commercial application of nitric acid (which is generally used at laboratory scale) to extract metals because we have the patent-protected technology which enable us to recycle 95% or more of the acid we use.
As a consequence, we do not waste our acid, we do not need to neutralise it before disposal, and we do not produce an acid-rich waste.
Our leach residue, which contains a small amount of magnesium nitrate (otherwise known as fertiliser) is able to be dry-stacked and returned to the mine to encourage revegetation of the site.
While the debate rages around the world about the containment of process tailings or, worse still, the deep-sea disposal of those tailings, the DNi Process™ is protective of the environment as a result of its acid recycling technology.
With significantly lower capital and operating costs, and fast, efficient plant construction.
Because we operate at atmospheric pressure;
Because we use nitric acid;
Because we extract all the available metals; and
Because we recycle the nitric acid;
the capital cost for the construction of a DNi Process™ plant will be significantly less than the cost of constructing an equivalently sized HPAL plant. An actual comparison is difficult because of the massive cost blow-outs experienced by almost every HPAL plant ever built. Furthermore, so few have ever reached their name plate capacity. To give some guidance, however, a DNi Process™ plant which processes around 1.4 million tonnes of dry ore each year and delivers 20,000 tonnes of nickel (plus all the other products) will cost less than US$750 million.
When it comes to operating costs, our ability to extract all the available metals makes a huge difference to the economic analysis. Whilst the C1 cost of our nickel is around US$2.35 per pound (or around $5,000 per tonne) when the value of the co-products is realised that C1 cost will be in negative territory.
The DNI Process™ fundamentally changes the way laterite ore is measured and will lead to more than doubling the world’s estimated reserves of nickel laterites as it can profitably process lower-grade ore.
Finally it’s possible to extract ALL the value from the mine and turn it into profit by extracting otherwise wasted metals which other processes discard.
ALS is one of the largest metallurgical and mineral testing consultancies in the world with operations in over 350 locations across 6 continents.alsglobal.com
Australia’s science research agency, CSIRO collaborates with leading organisations around the world to solve challenges with science and technology.csiro.au
Business, engineering and technical experts in the mining, metallurgical and energy sectors with over 9,000 staff and experience in 150 countries.hatch.com