Nickel West is the world's leading nickel supplier to the battery metals market. Our nickel is essential to a decarbonising world and Nickel West has a global advantage in the sustainable production of nickel.
Low-grade disseminated sulphide ore is mined from Mt Keith, a large open-pit operation, while high-grade nickel sulphide ore is mined at Cliffs and Leinster underground mines The ore is processed through two large concentrators and dryers at Mt Keith and Leinster. Nickel West’s concentrator plant in Kambalda processes ore and concentrate purchased from third parties.
The three streams of nickel concentrate come together at the Nickel West Kalgoorlie smelter, a vital part of our integrated business. The smelter uses a flash furnace to smelt concentrate to produce nickel matte.
Nickel West Kwinana then refines granulated nickel matte from the Kalgoorlie smelter into premium-grade nickel powder and briquettes containing 99.8 per cent nickel.
Nickel powder is further processed into nickel sulphate at Australia’s first nickel sulphate plant, co-located at the Kwinana Nickel Refinery. Nickel sulphate is an essential ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric cars.
Nickel metal and nickel sulphate is exported to overseas markets via the Port of Fremantle.
BHP supplies high quality nickel to world markets for use in electric vehicle batteries and other growing technologies that will support global decarbonisation.
We are taking great strides in making our operations more sustainable and strengthening BHP’s position as a nickel supplier of choice to global customers.
In FY21 and FY22, Nickel West delivered three major renewable power purchase agreements:
- The Northern Golfields Solar Farm and BESS project with Transalta was announced in July 2021. Construction has now started on these two solar farms and a battery energy storage solution which will help power the Nickel West mines and concentrators in the northern Goldfields.
- Merredin Solar Farm – A power purchase agreement with Western Australia’s largest solar farm was announced in February 2021 to power the Kwinana Nickel Refinery and Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter.
- Flat Rocks Wind Farm – A power purchase agreement announced in April 2022 with Enel Green Power. Once constructed, the wind farm will power 100% of Nickel West’s Kalgoorlie smelter and Kambalda Concentrator in Western Australia.
Nickel West is also trialling electric vehicles underground, including a Toyota Light vehicle and an electric Normet charge wagon.
Nickel West - from mine to market
The future of a world with low emissions transport is rapidly taking shape, and it’s our West Australian nickel resources that will help make this possible. Hear from our team about how we aim to do this in a sustainable way, from mine to market.
Nickel is a naturally occurring metallic element that’s a key ingredient in stainless steel and major component in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles.
Want to know more about Nickel West? Find out how they’re positioned for a very different future – one where electric cars take pole position.