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First nickel from Brazilian Nickel’s Piauí Nickel Project

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Brazilian Nickel Plc, the privately held UK company developing a nickel laterite heap leach project in Brazil, has announced that, after an 18 month construction and commissioning period, continuous nickel production has begun at the Piauí Nickel Project (PNP).

The first nickel hydroxide product (NHP) was produced from the world’s first stand-alone nickel laterite heap leaching operation. This initial production from the PNP1000 will ramp up to produce 1400 tpy of nickel in NHP and this is the first step towards much high production rates later.


  • First nickel produced at the PNP1000 operation.
  • Annual production guidance from PNP1000 for 2022 of 300 t of nickel and 3 t of cobalt.
  • Anticipated annual production guidance from 2023 for PNP1000 of 1400 t of nickel and 35 t of cobalt.
  • The PNP1000 operation will provide 215 jobs which have been filled by the residents of the local communities for over 70% of the positions.

Mike Oxley, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are a producer! Although only a junior mining company with a small team and budget, we have successfully put the PNP1000 into operation. The production of nickel and cobalt at PNP1000 is a great achievement for the company. We are particularly proud to be bringing online a new stream of critical metals in this current environment where there is a growing need for a secure supply of nickel and cobalt which is required in green technologies, such as electric vehicles and solar panels.

“I would like to publicly share my enormous appreciation for the great work carried out by the team. Given the global disruptions of the last couple of years, what they have achieved is stunning and I am immensely proud of them, particularly because so many of the team are from the local project area. Through their hard work and dedication, they have shown how the simplicity of the heap leach processes can lead to rapid commissioning and start-up such that the challenge of supplying ever increasing demand for nickel to global markets can be met.”

Anne Oxley, Technical Director, said:

“This is a huge step for Brazilian Nickel as we become a nickel laterite heap leach producer. Producing nickel in NHP from our low carbon process will help the planet’s race to combat climate change. The product will feed the ever growing demand from electric vehicles.

“The knowledge and skills that have been developed over this process will be invaluable to the final delivery of the larger PNP operation. Production at PNP1000 will further develop the skills of our team and capabilities of our systems and processes.

“I would like to thank all those involved; our workforce, contractors and consultants, that have helped Brazilian Nickel commission the PNP1000 and achieve this commencement of production milestone.”

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Nickel mining news South American mining news Brazilian mining news