Demonstration Plant Manager, Adam Randall, said:
“We are delighted that the first module of the Demonstration Plant equipment is coming to site. The construction of the first sections of the Pilot Plant will commence shortly. We anticipate working closely with key business partners in the Broken Hill community to bring our project to life. The coming months will be a busy and exciting time for the team at Broken Hill. The goal for the Pilot Plant is to generate commercial samples of battery grade cobalt sulphate via direct application of our unique processing technology. This will support both BHCP Feasibility Study as well as our COB Partnerships business”
COB has previously announced that it intends to build a Pilot Plant in the Broken Hill area. Design, engineering and procurement is well underway, with critical equipment already received into the Port of Adelaide. The equipment will now be transported to Broken Hill for installation as an integral part of the Pilot Plant facility, with installation expected to begin in early March. This equipment includes leaching circuit equipment as shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the Pilot Plant (3D view).
Pilot Plant results will form the basis for the engineering design and cost estimates for the Demonstration Plant underpinning the BHCP Feasibility Study. The centre will also allow COB to produce varying specifications of cobalt products (including mixed hydroxides and sulphates).
We anticipate commissioning the Pilot Plant by end Q2 2020. Our commercial aim remains to make battery ready cobalt sulphate from this facility on a scale sufficient to provide test samples (10 – 20 kg) for global commercial partners. The Pilot Plant will be modular and will be sized upwards to a Demonstration Plant (1:1,000 to full commercial size) expected by early 2021.
The Demonstration Plant is aiming to deliver multiple production samples (100–150kg) to leading battery production facilities across Asia, Europe and North America. These samples will be used to manufacture complete batteries which are tested against performance specifications of each manufacturer.
Potential commercial and strategic partners will be able to visit the project mine site as well as the Pilot Plant and subsequently the Demonstration Plant, providing inspection of the entire production chain of the BHCP.