BHP has produced the first nickel sulphate crystals from its nickel sulphate plant in Kwinana, south of Perth in Western Australia. The nickel sulphate plant is an Australian-first and will produce 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year when fully operational. BHP Nickel West Asset President Jessica Farrell said “BHP’s nickel sulphate plant is the first of its kind in Australia, and will produce enough premium nickel sulphate to make 700,000 electric vehicle batteries each year. The plant will create 80 new direct jobs and support 400 new indirect jobs, in addition to the 200 construction jobs that were created during the construction phase. High quality and sustainable nickel is essential for our customers, and we expect demand for nickel in batteries will increase by 500 per cent in the next decade. The plant consists of leaching tanks, purification technology, a crystalliser and dryer and an automated packaging system. Nickel from BHP’s mines is processed at the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter, before it is transported to the Kwinana nickel refinery and refined into nickel metal (in the form of powder or briquettes). Nickel powder is then processed through the new sulphate plant to make nickel sulphate. The nickel sulphate will be exported to global battery markets from the Port of Fremantle. BHP is one of the world’s leading nickel suppliers to the battery metals market, with 85% of its nickel metal currently sold to the battery market.