Clean TeQ Holdings has appointed Macquarie Capital to search for a partner to work on its wholly-owned Sunrise complex in New South Wales, Australia.

The announcement follows numerous inbound enquiries from a range of parties in the electric vehicle supply chain in relation to both project level ownership, long-term offtake and other financing arrangements.

Following preliminary discussions with a range of parties, Clean TeQ plans to divest up to 50 per cent of its interest in the Sunrise nickel-cobalt-scandium resource, in combination with long-term offtake.

Sunrise is a globally significant nickel-cobalt-scandium resource with existing Ore Reserves calculated in accordance with JORC and NI 43-101 that support a 40-plus year mine life and a first quartile cost position, with life of mine average C1 cash costs of negative US$1.46 / lb Ni (after by-product credits).

Once in production, Sunrise will be one of the world’s largest integrated suppliers of high purity battery grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate, the key raw materials in the production of cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. It will also provide one of the largest and most secure sources of cobalt supply outside of Africa.

Sam Riggall, Chief Executive Officer of Clean TeQ, sees the appointment of Macquarie Capital as a positive step towards finalising the funding for the Sunrise Battery Materials Complex.

“The Board and major shareholders of Clean TeQ are highly supportive of finding the right partner, be that a strategic customer or an operating miner, to develop this globally strategic asset. With approximately A$150 million invested by Clean TeQ in the project to date, a solid foundation has been built for the successful and rapid delivery of this project,” commented Mr Rigall.

“Sunrise is uniquely positioned to benefit from several macroeconomic themes including the electrification of transport driving cobalt and nickel demand, a global shortage of Class 1 nickel sulphide deposits and increasing customer requirements for auditable, sustainable supply chains.”

Sunrise has been designed as a fourth-generation pressure acid leach plant which incorporates key learnings from past nickel laterite projects.

According to the company, Sunrise is unique among nickel laterite projects given its high cobalt content, low acid consuming elements, simple mining operations and favourable location within a safe and established mining jurisdiction.”

The Sunrise Battery Materials Complex is one of the few development-ready large-scale nickel and cobalt assets in the world. Clean TeQ has made significant progress in moving the Sunrise Battery Materials Complex towards construction.

Clean TeQ intends to conclude the partnering process in the second half of 2019 to align with a final investment decision planned for fourth quarter 2019, with construction to commence shortly thereafter.