Resources firm BHP announced Friday that its new manufacturing plant in Kwinana, Australia has produced its first batch of nickel sulphate crystals. Once fully operational, the facility will have a capacity of 100,000 tn/yr of the inorganic compound.
“BHP’s nickel sulphate plant is the first of its kind in Australia and will produce enough premium nickel sulphate to make 700,000 electric vehicle batteries each year,” BHP Nickel West Asset President Jessica Farrell said in a company release. “The plant will create 80 new direct jobs and support 400 new indirect jobs, in addition to the 200 construction jobs that were created during the construction phase.”
The location features leaching tanks, purification technology, a crystallizer, a dryer, and an automated packaging system. In addition to nickel sulphate, BHP’s plant in Kwinana will also process raw material from the firm’s Kalgoorlie nickel smelter into nickel metal powder and briquettes.
“Our investment to upgrade the refinery to produce high purity nickel sulphate, along with nickel powder and briquettes, will enhance Nickel West’s position as a supplier of choice for the growing global electric battery market,” said Farrell.