EV Nickel publishes research results confirm bioleaching potential for W4 nickel sulphides; clean nickel strategy could allow company to produce for domestic battery plants, transforming mineral processing in Ontario

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May 16, 2023 (press release) –

EV Nickel Inc (TSX-V:EVNI)

Shares Issued 51,396,937
Last Close 5/2/2023 $0.135
Wednesday May 03 2023 - News Release

Mr. Sean Samson reports


EV Nickel Inc. has released the results of a technical evaluation of bioleaching application on its high-grade W4 sulphide zone, located in the middle of EV Nickel's Shaw Dome project, just outside Timmins, Ont. The evaluation was completed by the Research and Productivity Council ("RPC") of Fredericton, New Brunswick. RPC raised locally occurring bacteria from Shaw Dome water samples and then developed two conceptual flow sheets to process the material through:

a) a Whole Ore to Heap Bioleach ("Heap Bioleach", see Figure 2); and

b) a Crushing-Grinding-Flotation to Tank Bioleach ("Tank Bioleach", see Figure 3).

RPC completed initial bench scale testing which proved the ore is amenable to bioleaching and extraction rates realized for Ni and Co were very encouraging, indicating a strong bioleaching potential for W4, likely greater with Tank Bioleach. Based upon these results, RPC's bench scale testing now enters an optimization phase.

"Confirmation that the W4 Zone is amenable to bioleaching is a big step forward for EVNI and its Clean Nickel(TM) strategy," said Sean Samson, President & CEO. "Our objective is to rethink every stage of our business, and this is a great example of unlocking opportunity through innovation. If successful, Tank Bioleach could allow EV Nickel to skip sending concentrate to foreign-owned smelters and refiners and produce a finished product for domestic battery plants, from our site. This would have clear commercial and environmental advantage, plus develop a revolutionizing technology for mineral processing in Ontario."

The RPC research study was completed on a sample of W4 ore with a composite grade of 0.78% Nickel and 0.02% Cobalt. Extractions achieved by the test work ranged from 86.0% to 90.5% for Nickel and 85.2% to 90.1% for Cobalt after tests ranging from 8-12 days of leaching under defined pH and temperature conditions.

The degree of sulphuric acid ("H2SO4") consumption is a key consideration when assessing bioleaching potential and based upon the composition of the host ultramafic- magnesium-rich materials with low sulphide content- the Heap Bioleach scenario was determined to be problematic for the W4 ore. RPC recommended the Tank Bioleach scenario because it is expected to have a considerably lower acid consumption and by incorporating flotation to upgrade the feed it will likely result in even higher bioleaching efficiency. Plus, the Tank Bioleach scenario has a far smaller processing footprint and likely lower capital costs.

Commercial Opportunity to Change the Current Nickel Value Chain

If successful, the Tank Bioleach scenario could facilitate a small footprint, localized production of the product required by the planned battery plants. This avoids the need to send concentrate to foreign-owned smelters and refiners plus cuts down on the distance material currently travels before the critical metal reaches the state which the battery plants require- a current challenge for the industry (see Figure 4). The Tank Bioleach scenario could precipitate the end-product to match the input specifications of the customers, a huge benefit to the new buyers of nickel.

Bioleaching for Nickel used in Commercial Operations Around the World

Bioleaching for base metals is a proven process which has long been a technology for recovering copper. For nickel, bioleaching has been used commercially with both Heap Bioleach and Tank Bioleach, and there have been commercial operations around the world, including in: Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Scandinavia. Heap Bioleach is the primary nickel recovery process for Terrafame in Finland, which produced 31,550 tonnes of nickel in 2022.

Additional Carbon Capture and Storage Potential

As part of the bioleaching process, magnesium ("Mg") is extracted and can be converted to magnesium hydroxide ("Mg(OH)2 ", in nature as brucite) which is capable of capturing and mineralizing CO2. EV Nickel is researching this in the parallel Clean Nickel(TM) research stream, for Carbon Capture and Storage ("CCS", for further information on the importance of brucite, see News Release dated April 20, 2023). RPC indicated that the residual Mg minerals in the bioleach residue or floatation tails could be used for CCS and recommended further testing to optimize and validate the CO2 capture potential.

It should be recognized that the nature of this research is experimental and successful results are not a certainty.

Clean Nickel(TM) R&D Kickoff Event

The previously announced kickoff event has been rescheduled to May 24th, when EV Nickel management will be meeting at EPCM Engineering's headquarters in Oakville with Ontario's Minister of Mines, Hon. George Pirie and the MPP for Oakville, Stephen Crawford. The group will review and discuss in greater detail the workplan related to the province's $500K investment in the Company's Clean Nickel R&D through its Critical Metals Innovation Fund (see news release dated March 6, 2023).

About EV Nickel Inc.

EV Nickel's mission is to accelerate the transition to clean energy. It is a Canadian nickel exploration company, focussed on the Shaw Dome Project, south of Timmins, Ontario. The Shaw Dome includes the CarLang Area with more than 10 km of mineralization and where the first 20% contains the A Zone - with a Resource which defined 1.25M Indicated and 1.16M Inferred tonnes of Contained Nickel and the W4 Zone Deposit - the basis of a 2010 historical estimate of 677K tonnes @ 1% Ni, ~15M lbs of Contained Nickel. EV Nickel plans to grow and advance a Clean Nickel(TM) business, targeting the growing demand from the electric vehicle battery sector. EV Nickel has over 30,000 hectares to explore across the Shaw Dome and has identified >100 km of additional favourable cumulative strike length. The Company is focused on a 2-track strategy: Track 1 - to produce High-Grade Clean Nickel (TM) (starting with W4) and Track 2- an integrated Carbon Capture & Storage project with Large-Scale Clean Nickel(TM) production (starting with CarLang).

The Company acknowledges the financial contributions being provided by the Province of Ontario's Critical Minerals Innovation Fund ("CMIF) and the Government of Canada through the Industrial Research Assistance Program ("IRAP") in assisting with the implementation of EVNI's Clean Nickel(TM) Research and Development Program.

Qualified Person

The Company's Projects are under the direct technical supervision of Paul Davis, P.Geo., and Vice-President of the Company. Mr. Davis is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. He has reviewed and approved the technical information in this press release. There are no known factors that could materially affect the reliability of the information verified by Mr. Davis.

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