Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) has signed a memorandum of understanding for a gas field supply chain, turning its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) into a zero-carbon nickel producer.
Under the non-binding agreement, Transition Energy Corporation (TEC) and North Queensland Gas Pipeline (NQGP) would deliver gas from the northern Bowen Basin, at least 200 kilometres south of Townsville.
TEC has the potential to drain and harvest the gas from the Bowen Basin, preventing it from otherwise being flared and vented into the atmosphere.
QPM chief executive officer Stephen Grocott said he was pleased to be working with prize companies for a reliable supply of gas.
“I am delighted to have signed this agreement with such high-quality partners and I look forward to working with them as part of the completion of or definitive feasibility study,” Grocott said.
QPM had a greenhouse gas (GHG) report commissioned in March which identified the TECH project could reduce its nickel production GHG emissions by one third compared to the global average.
The report also identified the capacity for a gas supply chain of this nature to further reduce that figure.
“In particular, I am pleased by the potential to help create Australia’s first producer of net-zero carbon nickel,” Grocott added.
NQGP already operates a 391-kilometres gas pipeline from Moranbah to Townsville, while TEC continues to build its expertise in exploration development and coal seam gas projects in Queensland.
The TECH project is due to be commissioned in late 2023 and will be used to produce critical chemicals for lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles.
Once approved and operational, it will process high-grade ore from New Caledonia, producing nickel sulphate cobalt sulfate, high-purity alumina, and other by-products to leave almost zero waste products.