Processing and commercial options
Value chain consulting
Trusted metallurgical advice from a dedicated team of experts
SFA (Oxford) has extensive experience assessing clients advanced mineral processing offtake options and evaluating indicative commercial terms at global smelters and refineries. The SFA team has completed numerous assignments, mapping the commercial options for mine concentrate, modelling all industry smelters and refineries, and identifying and defining the various processing points (including capacity constraints) in the global value chain for concentrate from smelter to the refinery.
Commercially evaluating processing value chain opportunities
SFA's relationships with smelters and refiners extensive expertise, and supporting databases assists clients to add or create value within the metallurgical process linkages of the value chain, whether it is to:
Identify existing flowsheet risks and opportunities.
Evaluate commercial terms for a product.
Decide on the best processing route.
Consider options to fill a smelter or refinery.
Benchmark a process against that of peers.
Provide mass pull calculation.
Estimate CAPEX requirements and recoveries.
Quantify and evaluate tailings dams.
Obtain a second opinion on the suitability of new technology for feed.
In determining the best method for the client to process its concentrate product, we compare the various market opportunities. This analysis provides a valuable assessment for the sale of the different products at various positions in the value chain and examines the impact of moving up or down the value chain with each product. This approach helps the client to compare the economics of the sale of concentrate.
Independent analysis of the lithium hydroxide market out to 2025
The business case for downstream refining of battery-grade lithium hydroxide
SFA (Oxford) presented a detailed current and forecast lithium hydroxide (LiOH) market balance and analytical report to assess the medium-term LiOH market dynamics and pricing to advance the investment case for a new plant on behalf of a lithium producer.
Indicative valuation of a cobalt deposit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
An independent articulation of the investment case
A significant mining conglomerate requested SFA (Oxford) to evaluate a cobalt deposit in the DRC and appraise its investment potential. The team assessed the resource potential, mining strategy, processing routes, and developed an NPV model to evaluate the attractiveness of the resource using different market price scenarios and critical project success factors.
Helping to find end-user targets on behalf of a lithium supply chain participant
Identifying new strategic partners
Working with a lithium supply chain participant, SFA (Oxford) helped management to pinpoint new OEM customers for future commercial success.
Evaluating nickel assets on behalf of a client
Supporting growth strategies in new markets
SFA (Oxford) helped to assess nickel targets across the Americas for acquisition.
The team assessed the targets in context with global peer groups, provided long-term price forecasts for financial models, and evaluated downstream processing optionality and offtake agreements.
Part of a due diligence team evaluating nickel processing plants
Assessing off-take targets for acquisition
The SFA (Oxford) analysts have aided a client to evaluate nickel processing plants across the globe for successful acquisition. To support the due diligence team we contextualised nickel targets, provided product price forecasts and augmented transactional rationale with detailed analysis and risks of changing the product portfolio to serve the battery industry and assessed average realised premiums.
Lithium asset due diligence in North America
Mining and processing technical support and asset benchmarking
SFA (Oxford) was tasked to assist the due diligence team of a potential new lithium mine in North America. Along with a site visit, the team analysed all facets of the company and project including its corporate structure, peer-group benchmarking, reviewing the mine plan, processing plant evaluation and offtake partner assessment.
Nickel and copper due diligence in Eurasia
Evaluation for acquisition
Conducted a three-month on-site due diligence of a major nickel-copper mine cluster and processing complex.
Asia-Pacific Rim nickel-cobalt producer’s study
Nickel laterites and HPAL processing assessment
SFA (Oxford) conducted a regional analysis of all Asia-Pacific Rim nickel-cobalt producers from nickel laterite deposits, to identify all regional players, volumes and trading links, as well as focusing on HPAL (high-pressure acid lead) operations and projects, and providing a 5-year price view of the nickel and cobalt markets.
Let us help you navigate your processing risks and opportunities
Contact one of our team for more details.
Other consulting solutions
Explore other services our clients use regularly.
Due diligence studies and commercial advisory
Working with clients and third parties, SFA has a long track record of providing battery metals technical due diligence and financial modelling support.
Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate defence
Clients have used SFA to provide the analytical link with banks and financial institutions to support investment decision making and provide robust market support.
IPO market chapters and feasibility studies
SFA has supported numerous client listings by providing an independent view of the lithium, nickel and cobalt markets to help secure capital from potential investors.
Peer-group benchmarking and margin analysis
SFA's battery metals benchmarking is unrivalled, providing you with a detailed understanding of which assets are outperforming and those most at risk.
Strategy, planning and Board support
SFA is a trusted advisor to boardrooms and senior management to major stakeholders and provides regular assistance to battery metals strategy and planning.
Price forecasting and project incentive pricing
SFA provides accurate short- to long-term battery metal price forecasts to support your business plans and contract negotiations, backed by our extensive research.
Investor Board packs and investor roadshows
SFA regularly supports clients on roadshows to assist on capital raisings and converse with fund managers, institutional investors and family wealth offices.
Black swan events and market impacts
The SFA team is constantly providing rich insights for its clients on structural events moving the battery metals markets and battery technology substitution.
Corporate ESG strategy and battery metals stewardship
SFA works closely with value chain players to understand how materially significant ESG issues can be integrated into their wider company strategy.
Peer-group ESG battery metals benchmarking
SFA's benchmarking of battery metal producers on material ESG factors generates high-resolution insights for sustainability-conscious investors.
Battery life cycle analysis and ESG impact
SFA evaluates the long and complex life cycle analysis of battery metals and materials to improve the recycling opportunities available for market stakeholders.
Automotive powertrains and battery metals demand
SFA delivers detailed insights into market risks of automotive technologies for light-duty, heavy-duty, off-road and fuel cell vehicles to meet emission targets.
Energy storage to support renewable energy strategies
The pressure for renewable energy generation will require intermittent chemical energy storage solutions to support international climate change objectives.
EV charging and infrastructure deployment
With charging infrastructure lagging behind EV sales, SFA is on hand to help determine which localised markets will support battery electric vehicles.
EV recycling opportunities and value chain assessment
The rapid rise in electric vehicles means the recycling market needs to prepare for processing the growth in the supply of nickel, lithium and cobalt.
Joining the dots for other battery metals & materials
SFA evaluates the strategic opportunities of other strategic battery materials such as manganese, vanadium, copper, graphite, silica, and rare earth elements.
Battery technologies – opportunities and threats
SFA analyses the emergence of the new and competing cathode, anode and electrolyte technologies, market adoption and the fall-out this has on battery materials.
How can we help you?
SFA (Oxford) provides bespoke, independent intelligence on the strategic metal markets, specifically tailored to your needs. To find out more about what we can offer you, please contact us.