Nickel has long been widely used in batteries, most commonly in nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries, which first came to fore in the 1980s. The emergence of lithium-ion batteries and the push by governments around the world towards electric vehicles in a bid to reduce fossil fuel emissions is a game changer for the nickel sector.
Two of the most commonly used lithium-ion batteries are Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium (80% Ni) and Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (33%-80% Ni). Using nickel in batteries offers greater energy density and storage at a lower cost. This is particularly important to deliver long range performance for electric vehicles.
Currently the world consumes approximately 2.3 million tonnes per annum of nickel. This is largely attributable to the stainless steel industry. The emergence of electric vehicles will create a significant increase in the demand for nickel, which has many industry proponents concerned with whether or not supply can grow to meet forecast demand. Industry experts predict that in order to meet targeted government adoption of electric vehicles to reduce emissions, global nickel demand will almost have to double from current levels.
Further improving the prospects of QPM is that much of the world’s nickel supply at the moment is in the form of nickel pig iron. This product is not suitable for use to turn into nickel sulfate.
Depending on its purity, nickel sulfate typically sells at a premium to the underlying spot price of nickel. QPM will work with potential customers to ensure that the nickel sulfate to be produced at the TECH Project meets required specifications which will eliminate the need for further refining and secure the highest premium possible.