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THE DNi PROCESSTM

WHAT IS THE DNi PROCESSTM?

The DNi ProcessTM is a ground-breaking, patent-protected method for extracting nickel, cobalt and other constituent metals contained in laterite ore. Ensuring the sustainability of natural resources, our process maximises extraction, minimises cost, minimises residue and realises the full polymetallic value in earth’s lateritic resources.

The DNi Process™ can process low-grade ore (we have successfully processed ore containing as little as 0.5% Ni) and we can do this profitably because our technology extracts all the available metals in the ore. This could potentially almost double the world’s estimated nickel reserves. And, with more saleable products the process will generate more revenue. Technically efficient and environmentally sensitive, our game-changing technology will revolutionise the way that MHP is produced for the EV battery industry. The DNi Process™ is the smart way to fuel the future of greener motoring.

HOW IS THE DNi PROCESSTM A SAFER, GREENER AND MORE PROFITABLE ALTERNATIVE?

The DNi ProcessTM delivers nickel and cobalt in the form of a mixed hydroxide product (MHP) which is the preferred feed material for refineries that supply EV battery manufacturers. Currently, the dominant source of MHP is the high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) technology. Here’s how it stacks up against the DNi Process™:

 

THE DNi PROCESSTM HPAL
MAIN PRODUCT: Mixed (Ni-Co) Hydroxide Product MAIN PRODUCT: Mixed (Ni-Co) Hydroxide Product
CO-PRODUCTS: Hematite, Magnesia, Aluminium Hydroxide, Manganese, Scandium CO-PRODUCTS: Ammonium Sulfate, Scandium
ORE FEED: Processes full lateritic ore profile (limonite, saprolite and transition zone) ORE FEED: Primarily processes the limonite ore because Mg in the saprolite increases acid consumption materially
PRESSURE: Operates at 1 atmosphere PRESSURE: Requires at least 40 atmospheres
TEMPERATURE: Extracts metals at 110ºC TEMPERATURE: Extracts metals at 250ºC
PLANT MATERIALS: Simple materials of construction, mainly 304 grade stainless steel PLANT MATERIALS: Requires one or more submarine-sized titanium autoclaves which are then lined with exotic ceramic bricks to prevent the H2SO4 from damaging the autoclave
TECHNOLOGY: Easily scalable (stirred tanks, not complex pressure vessels) TECHNOLOGY: Challenging technology with historical projects generating poor returns – there are currently no plants smaller than 30,000t per annum of Ni
ACID CONSUMPTION: 30–80kg of nitric acid per tonne of processed ore is consumed, while over 99% of the added acid is reused ACID CONSUMPTION: 250-500kg of sulphuric acid per tonne of processed ore is consumed, most of which needs to be neutralised before being disposed in a tailings dam or the sea
WASTE MATERIAL: Generates around 200kg of residue from every 1,000kg of ore processed* – the residue is inert and mainly consists of silicates and can be dry-stacked and returned to the mine WASTE MATERIAL: After neutralising with the addition of limestone, the tailings equal around 1.5 times the weight of the ore feed. These are then deposited into a tailings dam or the sea
CAPEX: In the range of $25,000 to $30,000/t and delivers significantly more value in saleable products CAPEX: averages $42,000/t of Ni and delivers only Ni, Co & some Sc
*Actual volume is largely determined by the iron content of the ore.

THE DNi PROCESSTM IS SAFER

By eliminating the need to heat acid to dangerously high temperatures under hazardous pressures.

  • The DNi ProcessTM operates at 1 atmospheric pressure to leach ore.
  • Metal extraction is achieved at around 110°C.

THE DNi PROCESSTM IS SIMPLER

With straightforward set-up, our process is flexible and scalable with minimal risk.

The DNi ProcessTM is a simple metal extraction technology. We’re able to process the full lateritic ore profile with complete flexibility. This means we can blend the laterite limonite, saprolite and transition zone in almost any combination. Thanks to the simpler flowsheet and our use of nitric acid, our materials of construction are, by-and-large, just 304 grade stainless steel. Simple, economical, effective.

THE DNi PROCESSTM IS GREENER

The DNi ProcessTM is a greener metal extraction technology. In fact it does not produce wet tailings which require containment dams or dumping at sea.

Our unique patented process consumes very little acid, typically 30-80kg of acid per tonne of ore processed. What’s more, over 99% of the nitric acid used is recovered and recycled. Containing magnesium nitrate, also known as fertiliser, the dry leach residue can be returned to the mine where it encourages the growth of native plants.

Zero waste. Zero toxic tailings. Zero need for deep-sea dumping or poisonous mine dams, the DNi ProcessTM is an environmentally conscious, green alternative.

THE DNi PROCESSTM IS LEANER

With significantly lower capital and operating costs, and fast, efficient plant construction.

The DNi ProcessTM makes the extraction of ‘battery-grade’ nickel and cobalt more achievable, more affordable and more profitable. In fact we’re promising to almost double the world’s nickel reserves whilst extracting all saleable metals from lateritic ore (Ni, Co, Sc, Fe, Mg, Al).

The capital cost of constructing a plant is significantly less than an equivalent sized HPAL plant. We’re empowering industry with a more profitable alternative.

THE DNi PROCESSTM IS FASTER

Our simple flowsheet means that plants can be constructed very quickly. In fact, in the hydrometallurgical world, a DNi Process™ plant is the fastest route to market from a standing start.

Take for example the Queensland Pacific Metals’ plant which will be ready to commission just 14-months after breaking ground, and is set to produce 16,000 tonnes of nickel per annum.

This unrivalled timeline positions the DNi Process™ as the only viable method of supplying MHP to meet the expected surge in demand by 2024.

THE DNi PROCESSTM
IS MORE PROFITABLE

With the DNi ProcessTM, it becomes possible to evaluate the resource in a whole new way. There are more opportunities to profit – not just through treating low-grade ore – but also because the DNi ProcessTM extracts ALL the contained metals. This full utilisation of the mine is something which other processes simply can’t achieve.

MORE METALS = GREATER REVENUE. It also means spreading the economic risk by introducing new markets, and not being reliant on the nickel price alone.

The bottom line? The DNi ProcessTM is more profitable.

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