Hydromet – a revolution in metals processing

Hydromet processing supports the needs of decarbonising supply chains with sustainable metal solutions for the EV and green hydrogen industries.

The full value of Kabanga as a key source of new Class 1 nickel concentrate will be unlocked by this low energy-intensity and low emission processing technology.

Lifezone’s hydrometallurgical (“hydromet”) processing technology is a transformational method currently being installed at the Sedibelo platinum project in South Africa.

How does it work?

It eliminates the carbon intense smelting phase from nickel refining1:

  • Leaching metallic concentrates with liquid solvents
  • Process replaces fire and smoke with water and clean air
  • Has the potential to reduce electricity consumption
  • Eliminates SO2 emissions
  • Reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions

By adopting hydromet technology for processing nickel concentrate, Kabanga’s environmental footprint is expected to outperform industry baselines1

1. Nickel Class 1 downstream processing CO2 eq. emissions baseline from 2020 Nickel Institute LCA. Estimated Kabanga refinery expected emissions from internal Company analysis.

Value creation

Hydromet carries significant cost and sustainability advantages and will keep the process of nickel concentrate production in-country.

This will drive greater value creation, much of which will remain in the host country.

No requirement to export concentrate long distances to European or Asian smelters and refineries for further processing, transforming our carbon footprint.

Our technology will:

  • Roll out global access to a portfolio of over 100 patents across the world’s battery and hydrogen economies.
  • A market changing innovation, set to expand into recycling of green energy metals and EV waste.
“Our mission is to remove polluting smelters from the metals supply chain, and, in developing Lifezone’s hydromet technology, we have a solution which eliminates this harmful practice from metals refining.”
Keith Liddell, Chairman, Lifezone Metals

Hydromet potential

Lifezone is poised to take advantage of long-term supply deficit in nickel and surging demand from battery manufacturers.

Hydromet technology provides clean metals processing, supporting sustainability and the principles of ESG.

Current nickel supply is from highly polluting projects which use carbon intensive smelting processes.

Many users are struggling to source ex-Russia nickel supply.

Currently, about a third of nickel sulphide production comes from Russia and the country is the world’s third largest producer, so new sources such as Tanzania are becoming critical.