Direct Nickel’s Dr Fiona McCarthy and Hon Bill Marmion at the opening of the Direct NIckel Test Plant in May 2013
Direct Nickel’s Dr Fiona McCarthy and Hon Bill Marmion at the opening of the Direct Nickel Test Plant in May 2013

In November 2006 Direct Nickel Projects Pty Limited (“DNP”) entered into a process development and licensing agreement with the US-based research and development corporation, Drinkard Metalox Inc (“DMI”). DMI is a recognised world leader in nitrate chemistry and had earlier patented its nitric acid recycle technology which is incorporated into and a key step in the DNi Process™. DNP has exclusive and perpetual worldwide rights to the DMI developed patents and is the owner of the DNi Process™. DMI remains a shareholder and technical partner.

DNP has invested over twelve years and almost $40 million in the development of the DNi Process™.

 

Highlights of the Company’s progress since formation:

2005   Direct Nickel Projects Pty Limited is incorporated.

2008   Teck Resources Ltd and Oz Minerals invest.

2009   Positive Aker Solutions PFS2 delivered.

2010   CSIRO makes first equity investment; successful commercial scale, acid recycle demonstration in Charlotte NC.

2012   CSIRO decides to make further investment; completion of construction of Stage 1 of Perth Test Plant; Windward Prospects Ltd (“Windward”) subscribes for an equity investment of A$5M; Teck Resources confirms approval for funding the Stage 1 Perth Test Plant programme; 200 tonnes of ore from PT Antam’s Indonesian laterite deposit on Halmahera Island arrives in Perth.

2013   Hot commissioning of the Stage 1 Test Plant commenced and completed in February; the first ore from Teck Resources majority owned Santa Fe Ipora mine in Brazil is processed in the Test Plant; official opening of the Perth Test Plant takes place; hot commissioning of the Stage 2 Test Plant (full flowsheet); completion of the planned 19 campaigns of ore through the Test Plant.

2014   Delivery of the Nickel Production Demonstration Program report detailing the successful completion of the 2013 testing.

2015   Windward provides a $1 million secured loan to DNP (the company which owns the DNi Process™ and related intellectual property) to enable the company to pursue commercialisation of the DNi Process™

2016   DNP enters Administration which results in a restructuring of the shareholding of that company. Later that year, DNP exits administration and begins to pursue the commercialisation of the DNi Process™ through a licencing model with co-investment in projects remaining an option.

2017   A Co-Operation Agreement is signed with ANROCA Pty Ltd (trading as Queensland Pacific Minerals) to pursue a project in Australia and discussions ensued with a number of miners in Indonesia, the Philippines and Central/South America regarding the licensing of the DNi Process™.

2018  With the price of nickel and cobalt increasing and with the markets focussed on long-term supply issues for the electric vehicle battery market, interest in the DNi Process™ has significantly increased. Windward converted its secured loan and other accrued debt into equity.

 

Partnerships

 

CSIRO Teck Resources Aker Solutions
Industry, Science and Innovation WA Department of Commerce