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NetZero Metals Awards Engineering Contracts and Advances Studies for Timmins Processing Facilities

Apr 17, 2024

“We are very pleased to work with global engineering leaders like SMS, Metso, and Ausenco to advance our NetZero Metals processing plants," said Mark Selby, CEO of Canada Nickel. 

"These processing facilities will position the Timmins Nickel District and Canada at the forefront of the global transition to greener energy and materials.  We are proud to lead the way in the development of new capacity to meet the growing demand for the local supply of critical minerals, and most importantly, zero carbon, environmentally responsible production in North America.” 

NetZero Metals Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Nickel Company Inc. today provided an update on the progress of engineering studies for two processing facilities – a nickel processing facility and a stainless steel and alloy production facility – in the Timmins Nickel District.

Key engineering contracts for the facilities have been awarded to SMS group (“SMS”), Metso and Ausenco Engineering Canada ULC (“Ausenco”).

NetZero Metals is advancing design work to develop two processing facilities to fill a critical link in the development of North American critical minerals supply chains and the province’s electric vehicle strategy. Each production facility is expected to utilize Canada Nickel’s carbon storage capacity at its Crawford Nickel Project to deliver net zero carbon nickel and stainless steel and alloy production through capture of the CO2 emissions from the downstream operation. The studies are progressing well and completion of feasibility studies remains targeted for year-end.

SMS group, an industry leader in the supply of steel making equipment and plant design, has been awarded the initial scope for the NetZero Metals stainless steel and alloy plant, which will treat the Crawford iron-chrome-nickel concentrate and other feeds to produce a blend of stainless steel and alloys. The target start up date of the steel plant is year-end 2027, aligned with expected first production from Crawford.

Andy Gribben, VP of Metallurgy Sales at SMS group, said “We are thrilled to have been chosen by NetZero Metals for such a pivotal role in advancing sustainable nickel and stainless steel production. At SMS group, we have made it our mission to create a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry.  Our metallurgical know-how and engineering skills combined with our digital expertise and plant technology enables us to be the leading partner on this project. We look forward to contributing our expertise to this transformative, environmentally responsible project.”

Metso, an industry leader for the supply of pyrometallurgical process equipment, has been awarded the key portions of the initial nickel plant scope, which will process the Crawford nickel concentrate as well as third party feeds to produce a blend of nickel and nickel-cobalt products suitable for the steel and battery markets. The Company is targeting an early start up of the nickel plant in the first part of 2027 by leveraging an existing brownfield site for which positive discussions are already underway.

Ausenco, a long term partner of Canada Nickel Company, is performing the overall facility engineering and packaging of staged engineering studies.

About SMS
SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of around 3.1 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. For more information on SMS group and their portfolio, visit their website at www.sms-group.us.

About Metso
Metso is a frontrunner in providing sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the aggregates, minerals processing and metals refining industries globally. By helping its customers increase their productivity, improve their energy and water efficiency and environmental performance with process and product expertise, Metso is the partner for positive change. Metso’s Fluid Bed business has been recently engaged to carry out fluid bed testwork and preliminary flowsheet development at its research and development center in Frankfurt, Germany. Metso has been developing world class fluid bed roasting applications for the non-ferrous industry since the 1950s.

About Ausenco
Ausenco is a global diversified engineering, construction and project management company providing consulting, project delivery and asset management solutions to the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors. Ausenco’s experience in mining projects ranges from conceptual, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for new project developments to project execution. Ausenco has been supporting Canada Nickel since 2020 when Ausenco was first engaged to lead the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Crawford Nickel Sulfide Project. After successfully completing the study, Ausenco continued to support Canada Nickel through the Feasibility Study, which was released in the fourth quarter of 2023, by supporting the metallurgical pilot plant program, the process plant and building design and the site water management design, all while coordinating project consultants. Ausenco is now leading Front End Engineering and Design activities at Crawford as it advances towards a construction decision in 2025.

About the Nickel Processing Facility
Over three phases, the nickel processing plant is expected to reach a capacity of more than 80,000 tonnes of nickel annually, which is expected to make it the largest nickel processing facility in North America. Subject to permitting approvals, the plant plans to begin production by the start of 2027 utilizing third party feeds. The facility is expected to be further expanded with the startup and expansion of Canada Nickel’s Crawford project. This plant is expected to utilize proven, low environmental footprint technology to produce high-quality nickel products, catering to the needs of both the stainless-steel/superalloy and the electric vehicle markets.

About the Stainless-Steel and Alloy Processing Facility
In addition to the nickel processing plant, a stainless steel and alloy production facility is expected to be established to process the iron-chrome-nickel concentrate from the Crawford Nickel project and other feeds to be transformed into more than 1 million tonnes of alloy products, including more than 500,000 tonnes of 304-grade stainless-steel annually.  The facility is expected to grow along with the expansion at Crawford Nickel project and would become the largest stainless-steel production facility in Canada. Production is planned to begin by year end 2027, aligning with the planned start-up of the Crawford mine, subject to permitting approvals. Discussions are currently underway with leading global ferroalloy and stainless producers to partner on this project.

Qualified Person and Data Verification
Arthur G. Stokreef, P.Eng (ON), Manager of Process Engineering & Geometallurgy and a “qualified person” as such term is defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this news release on behalf of Canada Nickel Company Inc.
About Canada Nickel Company
Canada Nickel Company Inc. is advancing the next generation of nickel-sulphide projects to deliver nickel required to feed the high growth electric vehicle and stainless steel markets. Canada Nickel Company has applied in multiple jurisdictions to trademark the terms NetZero NickelTM, NetZero CobaltTM, NetZero IronTM and is pursuing the development of processes to allow the production of net zero carbon nickel, cobalt, and iron products. Canada Nickel provides investors with leverage to nickel in low political risk jurisdictions. Canada Nickel is currently anchored by its 100% owned flagship Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Project in the heart of the prolific Timmins-Cochrane mining camp. For more information, please visit www.canadanickel.com.

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