China’s Lygend Mining said on Tuesday it had started trial production at its high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) nickel and cobalt project in Indonesia.
The plant, on the island of Obi, is one of a number of HPAL projects in top nickel miner Indonesia being closely watched by a market counting on them as a source of supply for the burgeoning electric-vehicle battery sector.
Lygend, which operates the project with Harita Group, said material was fed into the plant’s first autoclave on Tuesday and the first batch of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) product was expected to be produced in mid-May.
Its customers include Chinese battery material makers GEM Co and Beijing Easpring.
Lygend had planned to commission the project last year but pushed back the launch date after the coronavirus outbreak slowed work.