China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and its joint venture (JV) partners have reportedly achieved first trial production from the cobalt and nickel smelting project in Indonesia.

Based in Indonesia, the PT Huayue JV also includes Tsingshan Holding Group and China Molybdenum.

Huayou was cited by Reuters as saying in a filing that the product quality met the required level. The product is a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), which can be processed into nickel and cobalt chemicals for use in EV batteries.

Located on the island of Sulawesi, the PT Huayue project is designed to produce 60,000t of nickel and 7,800tpa of cobalt.

The project will use high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) technology to enable rapid production with high recovery rates, according to the news agency.

In May, Huayou acquired a 20% stake in a larger HPAL project in Indonesia.

Another GEM-led HPAL scheme in the country is scheduled to be commissioned next year.

Huayou recently partnered with Beijing Easpring Material Technology to jointly mine nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium.

Huayou agreed to supply between 300,000t and 350,000t of battery precursors to the company between 2022 and 2025, reported the news agency.

Battery cathode materials producer Easpring also agreed to buy another 200,000t-300,000t of precursors from CNGR Advanced Material, from 2022 to 2024.

As part of the cooperation agreement, Easpring and CNGR will jointly mine nickel in Indonesia, as well as build a 300,000tpa lithium iron phosphate base in China’s Guizhou province.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt will buy a $210m stake in Chinese battery materials producer Tianjin B&M Science and Technology (B&M).

The firm agreed to acquire a 38.62% stake in the company from Hangzhou Hongyuan Equity Investment.