Regency Mines has revealed that Direct Nickel Limited (DNi), in which it has a 7.5% stake, is making headway with testing of the nickel laterite treatment process at its Perth test plant.

In testing of the nickel laterite treatment process DNi has completed 16 of the 19 planned campaigns, with another two expected to be combined into a 24-day continuous run.

DNi is Regency’s joint venture partner at the Mambare nickel-cobalt laterite project in Papua New Guinea, which has a licence for the DNi process.

DNi boss Russell Debney says: “We are very pleased with the results so far. We can confidently predict that we shall have achieved the objective of proving the process to the point where it is ready for commercial use.”

He says the DNi process is “now within a couple of months of delivering comprehensive validation through the Test Plant program in Perth”.

Regency’s chairman Andrew Bell says results so far suggest that 95% or more of the leach acid is being recovered for reuse. “The test work at this pilot plant is at the upper end of our expectations in terms of achievement so far and we believe, therefore, that the effect on process economics of nickel laterite deposits could be profound.

“Extraction levels on mixed saprolite and limonite material have been encouraging and, as DNi begins work with Antam on site selection for the first commercial DNi plant, they move into a new phase with new horizons. We look forward to the announcement of conclusion of the test process,” he adds. or

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