GREEN NICKEL MINING AND PROCESSING A NEW CONCEPT 24-Oct-2012 Intex decided to create a project where the utilization of all components in the process was given attention. The result was a project, which - through innovative design and process solutions provides such low carbon-emission - that it could potentially be setting new standards for the nickel industry. The heart of the operation is the acid plant that converts sulphur to sulfuric acid, the main agent for hydrometallurgical processing. The acid dissolves nickel and cobalt in the ore, so they can be extracted. However, conversion of sulphur to sulphuric acid is heat generating and provides steam for the operation plus 110 MW of CO2-free electrical power in ancillary steam turbines. This fact makes the project self-sufficient with energy, and as the electrical power is based on steam, the operation becomes independent on fossil fuel for its life of operation. Small carbon-emissions Thus the innovative design features, which in aggregate provides Mindoro Nickel with the smallest carbon- emission of any existing Nickel operation are: All electrical power is generated from excess steam in the sulphur plant (-  avoids use of heavy fuel oil or coal, is CO2-free, and hedges energy/fuel costs) Ore haulage is by cable conveyor driven by plant-generated electricity;  (- avoids use of diesel, minimizes CO2- emissions and eliminates traffic issues) Hydrometallurgical processing is used for both limonite and saprolite ore, (- avoids traditional smelting for any of the available ore types) Saprolite is used for acid neutralization rather than limestone (- avoids limestone import, minimizes CO2- emissions and adds more nickel) Extensive recycling and regeneration of heat and water is applied to enhance process efficiency Sea water is used for slurrying and processing rather than fresh water (- minimizes consumption of fresh water and improve metal recovery)  New environmental benefits Innovative solutions also for the mining operation provide Mindoro Nickel with several new environmental benefits. These include: Limonite and Saprolite is mined simultaneously and processed in the ratio that they occur in (- minimizes stockpiling and ore rehandling) Mine pitting is sequential and followed by immediate rehabilitation and replanting.  (- minimizes the mine footprint and advances recovery of the natural environment) Sediment settling ponds will prevent contamination of natural drainage (- some will be retained as wetland sanctuaries to improve wildlife reintroduction and diversification after mining) No chemicals are applied during mining; mining occurs in terraces without deep excavations or blasting; reforestation to be established immediately after mining is completed in the individual pits. Ammonium sulphate fertiliser will be produced as a by-product from the metals plant. (- minimize sulphate in residue products and provides benefits for local agriculture)
Intex Resources Philippines Inc. 2014