NetZero Metals, a subsidiary of Canada Nickel, is advancing its plans to establish nickel and stainless steel processing facilities in Ontario’s Timmins Nickel District.

The company has awarded key engineering contracts to SMS Group, Metso and Ausenco Engineering Canada.

SMS group has been tasked with the initial scope for the NetZero Metals stainless steel and alloy plant.

This facility will process the Crawford iron-chrome-nickel concentrate and other feeds to produce stainless steel and alloys.

The steel plant is expected to start operations by the end of 2027, coinciding with the anticipated first production from the Crawford project.

Besides, Metso has been awarded the key portions of the initial nickel plant scope.

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This plant will process the Crawford nickel concentrate and third-party feeds to produce nickel and nickel-cobalt products suitable for the steel and battery markets.

NetZero is aiming for an early start-up of the nickel plant in the first part of 2027, leveraging an existing brownfield site, with positive discussions already in progress.

Ausenco Engineering Canada will be responsible for the overall facility engineering and the packaging of staged engineering studies.

By awarding these contracts, NetZero intends to establish a critical link in the development of North American critical minerals supply chains and support the province’s electric vehicle strategy.

Each production facility will utilise Canada Nickel’s carbon storage capacity at its Crawford Nickel Project.

The aim is to deliver net-zero carbon nickel and stainless steel and alloy production by capturing the CO₂ emissions from the downstream operation.

NetZero plans to complete the feasibility studies for both plants by the end of 2024.

Canada Nickel CEO Mark Selby said: “We are very pleased to work with global engineering leaders like SMS, Metso and Ausenco to advance our NetZero Metals processing plants.

“These processing facilities will position the Timmins Nickel District and Canada at the forefront of the global transition to greener energy and materials.

“We are proud to lead the way in the development of new capacity to meet the growing demand for the local supply of critical minerals, and most importantly, zero carbon, environmentally responsible production in North America.”