Slurried lateritic ore is delivered from the Mine Site via a 220 km Pipeline to a processing plant and refinery located near Toamasina on Madagascar’s east coast. At the Plant Site, the slurried ore is processed and refined to produce high-grade nickel and cobalt briquettes â€“ small blocks of compressed metal â€“ which are shipped to Ambatovyâ€™s customers from the nearby Port of Toamasina.
To produce fully refined metals, Ambatovy uses the hydrometallurgical process, a technology developed and perfected by Sherritt International Corporation. This industry-leading process ensures nickel and cobalt recovery in excess of 90%, high-quality product standards, low-cost production, and is in use worldwide.
Click on the image below for a description of the major steps in the hydrometallurgical process.
In 2012, Ambatovy commenced operations and is targeted to produce approximately 60,000 tonnes of refined nickel and 5,600 tonnes of refined cobalt every year once it is fully operational. This will place nickel among Madagascarâ€™s most valuable exports. Approximately 210,000 tonnes of ammonium sulphate fertilizer, a by-product of the refining process, will also be produced annually.
In January 2014, Ambatovy reached commercial production, a significant step in the ramp-up process. In September 2015, the company reached Financial Completion and continues to strive for full-production.