It said the high-grade awaruite nickel concentrate to be produced by Baptiste will enable it to produce a low-cost, low-carbon nickel sulphate.
The development of an integrated nickel operation at Baptiste would produce 43,500 tonnes per year of nickel in nickel sulphate in the form of either crystals or solution for 35 years. This scale would exceed that of the world's current largest nickel sulphate producers.
"Baptiste's awaruite nickel mineralisation has clear technical advantages over sulphide and laterite ores for producing nickel sulphate. Given its extremely high nickel content (over 60% nickel) and low levels of impurities, our high-grade nickel concentrate has distinct advantages over low-grade nickel sulphide concentrates (under 20% nickel) and is already comparable to intermediate nickel sulphate feedstocks like mixed hydroxide precipitate, mixed sulphide precipitate or nickel matte," said FPX Nickel president and CEO Martnie Turrene.
The study outlines a conventional hydrometallurgical flowsheet for the production of high-purity nickel sulphate directly from Baptiste's high-grade awaruite nickel concentrate without intermediate smelting or pressure oxidation.
A formal NI 43-101 compliant technical report on Baptiste is anticipated in the first semester of 2023.
FPX said the anticipated capital costs are expected to be competitive with large-scale refinery operations recently developed by Terrafame in Finland.
The proposed design would also yield 650tpy of cobalt.
Shares in FPX Nickel are trading at C47c, valuing the company at C$101 million.