Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd, an Australian mine developer on Friday said that it terminated an agreement with Metallurgical Corporation of China to develop Sunrise Battery Materials Complex, further delaying the project.
This move now creates more pressure on Clean TeQ, whose largest shareholder is Canadian mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland, to get the nickel, cobalt and scandium project in central New South Wales up and running at a time when demand from electric vehicle makers is all set to gear up. Clean TeQ signed a development deal with MCC in August 2018 but the agreement was terminated after they could not agree on design, procurement, project execution and contracting matters.
Fluor Australia, which is already a part of the engineering team working with MCC on the project, will now deliver an execution plan for the project. Clean TeQ hopes that the Sunrise project will be ready for a final investment decision in mid-2020. The Australian company said that it was looking to sell up to 50% of Sunrise, which it says has gathered more interest after prices of cobalt climbed off recent lows, and as nickel prices jumped by 60% this year.
The company says it’s engaging with a number of parties and is targeting to conclude the sales process by the first half of next year in time for the final investment decision for the project. Australia is trying to build itself into a supplier not only of raw materials for the green energy revolution but also to move up the value chain into chemicals such as nickel and cobalt sulphate for electric vehicle batteries.