Regency Mines (LON:RGM) has invested A$3 million into Direct Nickel Pty (DNi), as part of its joint venture to develop the Mambare lateritic nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea.
Regency owns the project and the partners plan to use DNi’s proprietary ‘Direct Nickel Process’ to enhance the project.
“The Direct Nickel Process is a hydrometallurgical process for treating nickel laterites with unprecedented efficiency and environmental benefits,” the company said.
“The Process recycles its novel reagents, offers high cobalt and nickel recoveries with short residence time, produces mixed hydroxide precipitates (MHP) or sulphide concentrate, ... (it) has substantially lower capital and operating costs than competing processes and is fully scalable.”
A Direct Nickel Process demonstration plant is currently in the final design stage, and it will be built at Mambare.
The demonstration facility is expected to process five tonnes of ore per day.
On the ground at Mambare the next phase of exploration is set to get underway in early 2011.
The joint venture was agreed earlier in November.
The partners agreed to co-operate on a 50/50 basis in the piloting and application of DNi's advanced nickel/cobalt leaching technology at Mambare.
Through the investment, Regency will take 519,930 new DNi shares, priced at A$5.77 each.
The consideration for the first tranche is being met with the issue of 26.8 million new Regency shares, priced at a price of 6.9018 pence each.
Subsequently there will be a second investment of A$3 million for a further 519,930 new DNi shares, this will be completed on 19 December 2010.
Regency will hold 7.31 percent of DNi once the second tranche is complete.