European Lithium (ASX:EUR) has produced battery-grade lithium carbonate from its recently completed hydrometallurgical testwork program at its advanced Wolfsberg Lithium Project in Austria.
The testwork showed that battery grade lithium carbonate grading over 99.9% can be made from the flotation concentrate.
The recovery of lithium from the spodumene concentrate as lithium carbonate was estimated as 86.8% for a continuous operation.
Steve Kesler, CEO, commented: “This work has confirmed that the spodumene concentrate from Wolfsberg can be successfully processed to battery grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
“The Wolfsberg project is well placed to be a strategic supplier to the lithium battery plants that are now being developed in Europe.”
Hydrometallurgical testwork details
The hydrometallurgical testwork was conducted by leading German independent consultant in lithium, Dorfner Anzaplan.
Dorfner had previously undertaken the physical processing test work which demonstrated that Wolfsberg ore can be processed by flotation to produce a spodumene concentrate of 6.2% lithium oxide.
The hydrometallurgical testwork was specified to use only commercially proven technology.
Currently, the only commercial scale conversion plants use the acid roast carbonate precipitation process.
The battery grade lithium carbonate can be reacted with lime to form soluble lithium hydroxide.
Elemental analysis showed that the lithium hydroxide product of over 56.5% met the common specifications for battery grade lithium hydroxide.
The recovery of lithium from spodumene concentrate as lithium hydroxide was estimated as 82.6% for a continuous operation.
Increased the JORC resource earlier this month
European Lithium has increased its JORC lithium resource estimate by 50% at the Wolfsberg Lithium Project located Austria.
As a result of the recent successful deep drilling program, the resource now stands at 10.98 million tonnes grading 1.00% lithium oxide.
The Measured and Indicated resource will form the base data for the upcoming pre-feasibility study.