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Nickel and Cobalt Recovery

10 Mar 2022

Proof-of-concept study completed with Australian Mines Limited

Descycle is pleased to announce the completion of a Proof-of-Concept Study (the “Study”) undertaken for ASX listed Australian Mines Limited (“Australian Mines”) to explore the use of the Company’s innovative, novel class of chemistry, Deep Eutectic Solvents (“DES”), in the process of extracting transition metals from lateritic ores at its Bell Creek–Minnamoolka (QLD) and Flemington (NSW) Projects.


The Study was undertaken by Descycle utilising samples from Australian Mines’ Sconi[1] and Flemington Project ores. The leaching rates from the Sconi and Flemington ores tested in this Study were as high as 100% cobalt, 97% nickel, and 94% scandium. These results build on the Company’s initial Proof-of-Concept Study, conducted in 2020, that demonstrated how the DES process could successfully extract a large number of metals from e-waste, with low emissions and high recoveries.


Building on these exceptional results, Descycle is continuing research and development work with Australian Mines to innnovate a cost efficient, scalable and environmentally sensitive process for the recovery of nickel and cobalt that can replace the current capital, energy and environmentally intensive high pressure acid leach (HPAL) process.


Leo Howden, Descycle Managing Director commented: “The results highlight a real potential game changing technology in the form of DES, for the recovery of critical metals such as nickel and cobalt from low grade lateritic ores. The demand for these transition metals is rapidly increasing, both due to a supply squeeze and a growing demand for electric power. While further test work is required, we anticipate the DES leaching process can be further improved upon to increase process efficiency and ultimately reduce cost for the recovery of these critical metals.”

Descycle - PoC with Australian Mines - March 2022
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[1] The Bell Creek–Minnamoolka deposits are 100% owned by Australian Mines and are located within the its Sconi Project. These nickel-cobalt deposits, however, sit outside the Offtake Agreement with LG Energy Solution, which only concerns the Sconi Project’s Greenvale, Lucknow, and Kokomo deposits

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