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Pure Minerals is looking at scaling up its planned Townsville battery materials plant after scoring a major deal with South Korean chemical company LG Chem.

It says the move would bring economies of scale along with more jobs and other benefits for Townsville and the greater community.

LG Chem is seeking to buy up to 10,000 tonnes of contained nickel and about 1000 tonnes of contained cobalt from TECH (the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub).

This would be as a combination of mixed hydroxide precipitate and final battery chemical sulfate forms.

That demand goes well beyond the output considered in the TECH pre-feasibility study for a $554 million battery chemicals plant (producing about 6000 tonnes contained nickel and 650 tonnes contained cobalt).

The companies have agreed to work together to evaluate the potential to increase the scale of production.

“We are delighted at the opportunity to work with a world-class company such as LG Chem to become a potential customer and partner of the TECH project,” Pure Minerals chief executive officer Stephen Grocott said.

“When originally sizing the TECH project, our aim was to deliver the smallest commercially sized project that would be economically viable and

“With LG Chem’s involvement, there is now potential to scale up the size of the TECH project to one which offers even more attractive capital efficiency.

“We will immediately commence work on this. Once the plant size is finalised, we will be able to formally commence Bankable Feasibility Study
and project approvals.”

The MOU between Pure Minerals and LG Chem includes an agreement to negotiate a binding offtake deal for the purchase of nickel and cobalt from the TECH project for an initial term of three to five years.

The TECH project is planned for a site in the Lansdown Industrial Precinct on Townsville’s outskirts.

Before the news of the potential scale up, Pure Minerals estimated the project would employ about 130 people in operational roles and 1000 during construction.