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FPX Nickel inks battery supply chain MoU with Japanese companies

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(Kitco News) - FPX Nickel (TSX-V: FPX) (OTCQB: FPOCF) announced Friday that on September 21, it signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s JOGMEC and Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), a JV between Toyota and Panasonic.

According to a press release, the non-binding MoU provides a framework for FPX and PPES to explore collaborative opportunities for the vertical integration of nickel production involving the development of FPX’s Baptiste nickel project in B.C., Canada, through to the production of nickel sulphate and cathode active materials for the PPES supply chain. 

On top of that, under the terms of the MoU, FPX, PPES and JOGMEC will work collaboratively to share technical information and expertise, and to explore potential strategic arrangements and business structures.

It is anticipated that any potential binding agreements among the parties would provide FPX with additional funding to advance the Baptiste project, including the preparation of a feasibility study and activities relating to the environmental assessment and permitting processes. 

President and CEO Martin Turenne said, “We are pleased to initiate this MoU with PPES and JOGMEC, two groups leading the global transition to a low-carbon, electrified economy. This MOU demonstrates the strategic nature of the Baptiste project and its potential to produce an ideal nickel feedstock for the battery supply chain. 

“We look forward to collaboration with our Japanese partners to support the development of North America’s critical minerals ecosystem, and to develop Baptiste in a manner that creates substantial and sustainable benefits for local communities while protecting the environment for future generations.”

FPX Nickel is focused on the exploration and development of the Decar nickel district, located in central British Columbia, and other occurrences of the same unique style of naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy mineralization known as awaruite. 

Of the four targets in the Decar nickel district, the Baptiste deposit has been the focus of increasing resource definition (a total of 99 holes and 33,700 m of drilling completed), as well as environmental and engineering studies to evaluate its potential as a bulk-tonnage open pit mining project. 

PPES started operations in April 2020 as a joint venture for automotive prismatic batteries (owned 51% by Toyota Motor Corporation and 49% by Panasonic Corporation).

JOGMEC is a Japanese government independent administrative agency whose mission is to secure a stable and affordable supply of energy and mineral resources to strengthen Japan’s industrial base.

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