Nickel Pig Iron, or NPI in short, is a ferronickel that is used as a cheaper alternative in the production of stainless steel. NPI is made of laterite nickel ores, which are then heated in a blast furnace or electric furnace together with coking coal, sand and gravel.
While NPI has primarily been used for the production of stainless steel, China’s Tsingshan Group has recently announced plans to convert NPI into nickel matte. Nickel matte is an intermediate for the production of battery-grade nickel sulfate. This could potentially lead to an increase in the market supply of battery-grade nickel.
Since NPI can be adopted to manufacture electric vehicle (EV) batteries, it felt logical to participate in the EV battery space after we commence our smelting operations.