In meeting growing demand for nickel, copper, and cobalt to support a cleaner energy transition, Lifezone Metals’ large, high-grade resource, technology, and expertise will position the company for long-term growth.
Estimates1 are that the battery market demand will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 24% by 2030 from 2020.
There is a notable supply-demand imbalance as the global vehicle industry goes electric. Nickel demand is growing rapidly, and Lifezone is poised to become a major supply chain solution to a global challenge.
Our strategy is to unlock and secure world class deposits of metals and license our patented technologies. These are essential to support greener energy and emissions reductions as the world combats climate change. We are building a scalable, lower-emission processing solution that will set new standards in metal production.
Our strategy is driven by our aim to comply with the prevalent ESG standards and framworks, and a commitment to sustainable value – from low energy processing technology, to creating shared value with Tanzania, to providing OEMs and other manufacturers with the assurance that our products support the growing trend and best practice of “responsible sourcing.”
1. Bespoke Nickel Market Outlook for Lifezone Limited, a product of Wood Mackenzie, August 2022.
The Lifezone Metals technology was the precursor to where we are now. We have secured, and have the potential to unlock the world-class Kabanga Nickel project, and we are additionally working on applying our Hydromet Technology to metals recycling. We are technology developers, but we also believe the technology has potential across the entire metals value chain – hence we are a metals business.
According to the International Energy Agency, it is estimated almost one in five cars sold worldwide in 2023 will be electric. This is almost five times the amount sold three years ago.
The opportunity lies with where and how the critical minerals required for EV batteries are sourced. Once developed, Kabanga will develop battery grade metals, helping to meet today and tomorrow’s increasing demand for sustainable sources of energy.
Our non-smelting hydrometallurgical processing technology provides a unique opportunity to help meet the world’s accelerating demand for nickel for EV battery production, while allowing us to help minimise our physical and environmental footprint.
Our mine-to-metal model, means that we will perform all our operations in-country in Tanzania. We plan to mine ore and produce a rich concentrate at Kabanga. This will then be transported to Kahama, where it will be processed further using our propriety hydrometallurgical process to produce the battery metal ready to be used around the world.
Not only does this provide an equitable sharing of the full economic benefits, it also removes the need to ship ore concentrates overseas for beneficiation, resulting in an estimated 25,000 kilometres less transportation, further supporting the emission reduction of the Kabanga Nickel project.
New infrastructure that will support the project is currently under development such as roads, rail and power.
This innovative model allows us to focus on Tanzania, enhancing work with local stakeholders and incorporate newer technology and methodology into our operations here.
The Hydromet Technology has the potential to produce nickel concentrate far removed from the conventional, energy-intensive pyrometallurgical processing route of smelting and refining. Lifezone Metals’ Hydromet Technology uses pressure oxidation and solvent extraction-electrowinning to extract valuable metals, with no melting of the rock.
This process will eliminate the need to export concentrate long distances to European or Asian smelters and refineries, thus reducing capital and operating costs with significantly less environmental impact, while maximizing value and returns within Tanzania.
By applying hydrometallurgy technology to process the ores and produce final high-grade metals, we will bypass the traditional polluting smelting process, resulting in far less energy use and pollution. Hydrometallurgy is an aqueous processing technology that selectively targets the valuable metals in a concentrate for extraction at approximately 200°C, compared to smelting which heats up all the ore to over 1,600°C.
By adopting this method for the Kabanga Nickel project, and operating solely within Tanzania, we expect to achieve up to 73% reduction in estimated CO2 eq. emissions and zero SO2 emissions1 at the Kahama refinery (compared to smelting).
Hydromet Technology also eliminates exporting concentrate long distances to European, North American or Asian smelters and refineries for further processing, lowering the carbon footprint. The key benefits of this process are that it requires lower CAPEX and OPEX, reduces the carbon emissions from refining making it more environmentally friendly and can all be achieved at in-country for the benefit of the country.
The team have considerable hydrometallurgical experience in sub-Saharan Africa and are in the process of developing unique and proprietary technology to unlock the full potential of hydrometallurgy at this operation.
1. Nickel downstream processing CO2 eq. emissions baseline from 2020 Nickel Institute LCA. Estimated Kabanga refinery expected emissions from internal Company analysis conditions in 2020. This assumes reagents not manufactured on-site.
We aim to be transparent as we play a key role in addressing urgent global issues such as climate change. We are taking the initial steps to develop an experienced leadership and project execution team equipped to set and deliver our strategy.
We have equipped ourselves with a skilled ESG team at a group and subsidiary level to ensure we embed ESG across our operations at all management levels.
These key benchmarks are being integrated into all decision-making and company structures.
- Alignment with standards is informed by customer and stakeholder needs. OEMs are already looking at the asset, and their requirements will further inform our ESG and production approach.
- Responsible sourcing requires verification. Our goal is to work towards our products being traceable and ethically produced via the Global Battery Alliance and the Global Battery Passport initiatives.
- SASB, GRI, ESRS, TCFD and TNFD are key standards and frameworks which we are using to inform our approach to reporting on our impacts as a global resource.
- Alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining standards and relevant elements of the International Council for Metals and Mining’s guidelines.
Through our partnership with the Tanzanian government, we hope to empower Tanzania to be the next premier source of battery grade nickel. Lifezone Metals will be a partner in the economic integration efforts of the East African Community, the Arusha-based regional intergovernmental organisation comprising some 177 million citizens from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
From an economic and social perspective, the Kabanga Nickel project will help position Tanzania to achieve the targets of the Agenda 2030, which prioritises inclusive social and economic development. The Kabanga Nickel project also seeks to ensure that significant value and flow-on benefits are retained within the country and promote wider regional economic transformation.