Australia-based company Blackstone Minerals has signed a non-binding Letter of Interest (LoI) contract with trading company Trafigura for the supply of nickel and cobalt products for its upcoming downstream refinery in Vietnam.
The refinery in Vietnam would be able to process up to 200,000mt of concentrate annually from the Ta-Khoa project, suggested Blackstone’s Scoping Study on construction of the refinery. Blackstone is looking to upscale its downstream refining business through the construction of the refinery in Vietnam and refining capacity would be met by materials sources from third-parties.
The move comes as Blackstone is upscaling its downstream refining business to be a global supplier of nickel products for lithium-ion battery industry. Demand for downstream nickel products is increasing on the back of rapidly increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries.
Vietnam is ideal to manufacture green nickel products given competitive costs and plenty supply of renewable energy and excellent infrastructure, stated Blackstone.