A Game Changer for the Nickel Industry.

Our company’s foundation is the development of a new source of nickel, found in a mineral called awaruite. Awaruite is a metallic nickel-iron mineral (Ni3Fe) with strong magnetic properties, named after the place it was first identified in 1885 in Awarua Bay, New Zealand.

Conventionally, nickel is obtained from sulphide or laterite deposits, and requires mineral concentration at mine sites followed by energy-intensive smelting and/or primary refining processes, resulting in nickel-rich intermediate products. Key differentiators of awaruite are its magnetic properties and low sulphur content, which mean that the nickel can be collected magnetically (without reagents or chemicals) and that the concentrate produced at the mine does not require downstream smelting.

Our team is designing a processing strategy for our Baptiste Nickel Project to harness these unique properties of awaruite to demonstrate its potential as an innovative nickel source. Below is an overview outlining the distinctive traits of awaruite, its application in our mineral processing plan, and the associated benefits.


Highly MagneticAwaruite is approximately 10 times more magnetic than magnetite.  To separate awaruite from waste, a magnetite-style iron ore flowsheet is utilized.  Since awaruite is so magnetic, it performs very well in this application.At Baptiste, this approach directs 95% of the total plant feed to final tailings, and results in only awaruite and magnetite being sent to the flotation circuit.  This controls the size of the plant, saving on capital and operating costs while also simplifying operations.
Surface PropertiesIn a mildly acidic environment, awaruite responds very well to conventional flotation.  Conversely, magnetite is an oxide mineral and is largely unfloatableThese significant differences between awaruite and magnetite properties allow them to be quickly and cleanly separated in a conventional flotation circuit.
High DensityAwaruite is very dense, which leads to preferentially grinding in a typical milling circuit – a phenomenon repeatedly demonstrated in large-scale piloting.Preferential liberation allows the utilization of a coarse primary grind size, saving on capital and operating costs.
Physical PropertyAwaruite is malleable, while magnetite and serpentine are not.  This leads to particle breakage along grain boundaries, which further preferentially liberates awaruite.Further preferential liberation during regrinding allows better liberation of magnetite and awaruite ahead of flotation.
High Nickel ContentAwaruite is 76% nickel and sulphur-free, while pentlandite (the most common nickel sulphide mineral) is only 25% nickel.  This leads to the production of very high-grade concentrates (60%+ for Baptiste) with very low content of sulphur and other contaminants.The high grade and clean nature of awaruite concentrate mean they can be directly used in stainless steel production (no downstream smelting required).

Additionally, awaruite concentrate can be refined to produce battery-grade nickel sulphate in a relatively simple flowsheet.

FPX’s Baptiste Nickel Project is currently the world’s most advanced awaruite resource.  As demonstrated by the PFS, Baptiste is a large-scale, long-life, high-margin, low-carbon source of nickel located in Canada.

FPX also holds exploration properties: Van, Mich, Orca-Wale, and Klow, and is progressing a global generative alliance with JOGMEC (Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security), a new partnership that is seeking to identify, acquire, and develop high-quality awaruite nickel targets worldwide.

Andrew Osterloh, P.Eng., Senior Vice President, Projects and Operations for FPX, is a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Osterloh has reviewed and approved the technical content of this summary.