Lifezone Metals Announces Two-Phased Development Plan for the Kabanga Nickel Project in Tanzania

27 February 2024

Lifezone Metals Limited’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Showalter, is pleased to provide an update on progress of the Definitive Feasibility Study underway at its Kabanga Nickel Project, located in north-west Tanzania, and at Kahama, where Kabanga’s Hydromet refinery will be located. Kabanga is believed to be one of the world’s largest and highest grade undeveloped nickel sulfide deposits. The Kahama Hydromet Refinery will allow for in-country beneficiation of nickel, copper and cobalt with low carbon dioxide and zero sulfur dioxide emissions.

Lifezone Metals has determined that a two-phase development plan for its Kabanga Nickel Project will form the base case of the Definitive Feasibility Study. Design work and mine planning to-date supports an expected 3.4 million tonnes per year operation in the aggregate, comprised of a 1.7 million tonne per year Phase 1 and an additional 1.7 million tonne per year Phase 2 expansion.

The Company continues to collaborate closely with its project partner on this two-phased development plan, as well as numerous other Definitive Feasibility Study work streams. Lifezone Metals is working to evolve and integrate sustainability across Project planning, implementation and in-country operational readiness.

The Kabanga Nickel Project Definitive Feasibility Study, which evaluates the technical specifications and economic business case of the Kabanga Underground Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Mine, Kabanga Concentrator and Kahama Hydromet Refinery, is a work-in-progress and mine planning continues, including the application of modifying factors to establish the economic viability of Mineral Reserves, with various major capital items tendered. The study remains on track for completion by the end of Q3 2024.

Mr. Showalter stated: “We have made solid progress advancing the Kabanga Definitive Feasibility Study, which is progressing both on-time and on-budget, with activities occurring across various countries (Tanzania, South Africa and Australia). Ongoing refinement of the development plan and metallurgical testing is aimed at maximizing the net present value of the Project while optimizing capital outlays. We are grateful for the strong support and collaboration from project partner, our local communities and the Tanzanian government, which continues to deliver on key milestones critical to keeping the Project on track.”

Separate programs of extensive metallurgical testing continue in support of process designs for 1) the Kabanga Concentrator and 2) the Kahama Hydromet Refinery.

Kabanga Concentrator Test Work Achieves High Nickel Recovery of 88.2% to a Clean 18.8% Nickel Concentrate

Kabanga Concentrator test work conducted on a range of variability composite samples sourced from the 2023 drilling program, representative of massive sulfide and ultramafic lithology types from the Kabanga North and Tembo zones (refer to Lifezone’s December 7, 2023 news release), has demonstrated high recoveries of nickel, copper and cobalt to concentrate.

The fully optimized locked-cycle test on an Early Years Blend Composite (“EYBC”; a composite sample that is expected to be a representative average of the first years of production from Kabanga) with a feed grade of 2.03% nickel achieved a nickel recovery of 88.2% to a concentrate grading 18.8% nickel (see Figure 1 below). The associated copper and cobalt recoveries into the concentrate were 98.2% and 91.0% at feed grades of 0.30% and 0.17%, respectively. These recoveries are notably higher than the assumed 87.2% nickel, 85.1% copper and 88.1% cobalt flotation recoveries used to calculate the December 2023 Mineral Resource Update.

This test has confirmed the historical pilot-plant results and is also in good agreement with the recovery potential as indicated from mineralogy. Lifezone Metals considers these recoveries to be excellent, the high concentrate grades present an exceptional refinery feed with low levels of deleterious elements. Further variability test work on freshly drilled core intervals was initiated in January 2024 and is currently underway to test variation in lithology.

Historical test work included bench scale, batch open-circuit and locked-cycle flotation test work and two continuous pilot-plant test campaigns. Additional test work in support of the concentrator design for the Kabanga Definitive Feasibility Study has been completed at the Bureau Veritas Laboratory in Perth, under the management of technical teams from Lifezone Metals and DRA Global – the principal consulting engineer responsible for the Kabanga Definitive Feasibility Study.

Over 120 bench-scale, batch open-circuit flotation tests, 116 bench-scale, bulk open-circuit flotation tests and one fully optimized locked-cycle test have been undertaken to date in the current phase of work.

Kahama Hydromet Refinery Test Work Shows that High Recoveries to Finished Metals are Achievable within Short Timeframes

Test work in support of the Kahama Hydromet Refinery design, using Lifezone’s Hydromet Technology, for the Kabanga DFS is continuing at Lifezone’s Laboratory in Perth, Australia, under the management of technical teams from Lifezone Metals with support from DRA Global.

Definitive Feasibility Study refinery flowsheet test work undertaken to date includes over 164 bench-scale, batch open-circuit tests and 73 bench-scale locked-cycle tests, incorporating pressure oxidation, solid-liquid separation, neutralization, upgrading and purification processing units. The work has been conducted on a range of concentrate samples generated from the flotation program, representative of massive sulfide and ultramafic lithology types from the North and Tembo zones. The objective is to characterize the unit process responses, support flowsheet design parameters and generate bulk samples for materials handling, paste fill and residue characterization test work.

Concentrate produced from grade-optimized bulk flotation test work was used for hydrometallurgical testing in support of process design, comprising North Deep massive sulfide with mining dilution and grading approximately 19% nickel, 4% copper and 2% cobalt. Concentrate pressure leach extractions through an average of 12 tests (4 open circuit and 8 locked cycle) were 98.5% for nickel, 97.2% for copper and 98.9% for cobalt. This data set has confirmed the preliminary findings previously reported and is also in good agreement with the recovery potential as indicated from mineralogy. Pressure oxidation leach rates are confirmed to be rapid (see Figure 3 below).

Locked cycle pressure oxidation – neutralization test work to track and demonstrate metal and impurity deportment is ongoing, along with further optimization of solvent extraction parameters.

Process design, procurement and fabrication activities are currently underway for a semi-continuous pilot-plant testing concentrate derived from Early Years Blend Composite for confirmation of process design criteria for the Kahama refinery treating the Kabanga nickel sulfide concentrate.

The Kahama Hydromet Refinery Receives its Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate from the Government of Tanzania

Lifezone has received the Environmental Impact Assessment certificate of approval for the establishment and operation of the Kahama Hydromet Refinery. This important milestone reflects the hard work and dedication of Lifezone’s environmental team.

Safety remains the Top Priority at Kabanga

Lifezone operates with safety as an ongoing, front of mind initiative at every level, and has recorded more than 1.7 million hours worked without a lost time injury at the Kabanga Nickel Project.

In addition, there have been zero environmental incidents year-to-date.

Qualified Persons

Scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Mike Adams, DSc (Eng), PhD (Metallurgical Chemistry), who is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and Royal Society of Chemistry, a Qualified Person in accordance with S-K 1300. Dr. Adams is employed by Lifezone Metals as Chief Technology Officer.