Cobalt, Contract award, Critical minerals, Dewatering, News, Nickel, Project approval

Queensland’s next big critical minerals project

igo nickel

Sconi Mining Operations, a subsidiary of Australian Mines, has secured a 25-year mining lease for the Greenvale mining area in North Queensland. The lease marks another step on the path towards the State’s next tier one critical minerals project.

When combined with Sconi’s other Lucknow and Kokomo mining leases, the miner now has the prospective resources available for critical battery minerals. These leases all fall under the umbrella of the Sconi nickel-cobalt-scandium project.

Australian Mines plans to operate the Sconi battery minerals project to produce battery grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate for approximately 30 years, with the potential to produce scandium oxide as a by-product.

Specifically, the project is projected to produce almost 47,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of nickel and 7000 tpa cobalt, both of which is aims to produce carbon neutral.

To achieve this, Australian Mines will be using a method of tailings storage called dry stacking. Dry stacking is the most sustainable method for tailings storage available. It involves compacting the tailings in a mound which is then covered by native soil and vegetation.

The $1.5 billion project includes a two million tpa ore processing plant and is estimated to support 800 jobs and increase Gross Regional Product by $2.2 billion over the life of the mine.

When Sconi starts commissioning, expected in 2028, it will supply its stock to LG Energy Solution under a six-year exclusive supply deal.

In the meantime, Australian Mines continues to advance other activities for the project, including environmental monitoring and studies and exploration works.

A final investment decision for the Sconi battery minerals project is expected by the end of 2025.

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