August 6, 2018
World's Top Miner Charges Into Cobalt
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest miner, is advancing plans to add production of a key cobalt material used in rechargeable batteries to boost its exposure to the electric vehicle revolution.
The Nickel West operation in Western Australia, aiming to sell 90 percent of its output to the battery sector by the end of next year, has had success with laboratory tests on adding production of cobalt sulphate alongside its specialist nickel product, Asset President Eduard Haegel, said Monday in an interview.
“Our concern now isn’t about being able to make cobalt sulphate -- it’s about being able to make it at the purity that we want,” Haegel said on the sidelines of the Diggers and Dealers mining forum in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The producer will advance to trials using a mini-processing plant, he said.
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