Diversified miner BHP Billiton has completed the investment of an additional $50-million in Kabanga Nickel, a subsidiary of battery metals miner Lifezone Metals.
BHP, which acquired an initial 8.9% interest in Kabanga Nickel in 2022, now holds a 17% interest in Kabanga Nickel. It has the option to further increase its shareholding to 60.7%.
Kabanga Nickel owns the Kabanga project, in Tanzania. Lifezone describes the project as one of the largest and highest-quality undeveloped nickel sulphide deposits in the world.
Lifezone intends to use its proprietary hydrometallurgical process technology – the Hydromet Technology – at the project, noting that it has the potential to be a more cost-efficient alternative to conventional smelting, with a significantly lower environmental impact.
The project, with a life-of-mine exceeding 30 years, is expected to start production in 2025 and to produce about 65 000 t/y of nickel.
“With the second tranche of funding from BHP secured, Lifezone will continue to progress work on the resource definition drilling, early works, resettlement and the definitive feasibility study for the Kabanga project, a development-ready deposit of metals which we believe will be essential for the clean energy transition.
“Our partnership with BHP provides additional funding and enhances our engineering expertise,” Lifezone CEO Chris Showalter says.
Lifezone in December agreed to a business combination with NYSE-listed GoGreen Investments Corporation, which remains subject to conditions precedent.