Downstream Processing

Downstream Processing

In 2018, IGO commenced a project to understand the downstream processing potential to directly produce nickel and cobalt sulphate using a hydrometallurgical process rather than producing nickel metal via conventional smelting and refining. A scoping study has demonstrated that, subject to metallurgical testwork, the process would be financially feasible. This was then followed by metallurgical testwork involving Wood Mining and Minerals Australia and SGS Australia.

Downstream processing of nickel concentrates from Nova to produce nickel sulphate product for the battery storage energy market has the potential to be a significant value driver for IGO delivering;

  • significantly higher pay-abilities than traditionally received from nickel concentrate offtake;
  • opportunity to maximise recovery at the concentrator stage by producing a bulk concentrate for the downstream processing;
  • a premium price for the nickel in nickel sulphate when compared to the LME price for nickel as nickel metal; and
  • a direct link into the energy storage supply chain.

For more information on IGO’s downstream processing project, please contact IGO via email on