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FSE: P21
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Superior Clean Nickel

Awaruite is a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy (Ni3Fe), formed during serpentinization of ultramafic rocks without sulfur, unlike nickel sulfides and laterites.


High (76%) Nickel Content
Nickel-iron alloy (Ni3Fe), no sulfur Mineralogy
Simple, no smelting Processing
High (>60% Ni), low impurities Concentrate Grade
High (>90% of LME) Payability
Low Environmental Impact
Low China Dependence

Nickel Sulfides

Lower (25% in pentlandite) Nickel Content
Nickel-sulfur minerals (e.g., pentlandite) Mineralogy
Smelting required Processing
Lower (10-30% Ni) Concentrate Grade
Lower (smelting costs) Payability
Medium Environmental Impact
High China Dependence

Nickel Laterites

Variable (1-2%) Nickel Content
Oxidized nickel minerals Mineralogy
Complex, acid (HPAL) Processing
Not applicable Concentrate Grade
Lower (processing costs) Payability
High Environmental Impact
High China Dependence

Awaruite Advantages

  • No Smelting: Direct supply to stainless steel or battery markets, bypassing dependence on foreign processing by China.
  • Lower Environmental Impact: Simpler processing without smelting, acid leaching, reduces greenhouse gases, air pollution, and toxic chemical release risks compared to sulfides and laterites.
  • High Nickel Content: Awaruite contains approximately 75% nickel, higher than 22%-35% in pentlandite (a common nickel sulfide mineral)
  • High Payability: >90% of LME nickel price by bypassing smelters, a major economic advantage.
  • Easier Recovery: Magnetic separation, Ferromagnetism and high density (8.2 vs 4.6-5.8) enable easier mineral processing.
  • High-grade, Clean Concentrate: >60% nickel with low impurities, compared to 10-20% in sulfides.
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