In FY2018, Nickel West began its transition to become a global supplier to the battery materials market, approving funding and beginning preparatory works for the first phase of a nickel sulphate plant which will be located at the Kwinana Nickel Refinery. Stage 1 is expected to produce 100 ktpa of nickel sulphate. A mini-plant has been constructed to deliver samples of nickel sulphate product to customers.
In FY2018, we continued to progress regulatory environmental approvals and consulted with Traditional Owners regarding a satellite pit at the Mt Keith operation, which will supply ore to the Mt Keith concentrator.
The Venus project has been approved for execution at the Leinster Nickel operation, with definitional drilling and development having commenced. A study reviewed the resource beneath the Perseverance Sub-Level Cave and recommended the installation of a small Block Cave. Pre-commitment funding to start the development on 1 July 2018 was approved.