The LSPP is designed to produce about 2,500 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent suited for the rapidly expanding global lithium-ion battery market.
It is anticipated that the pilot plant will initially produce lithium carbonate as the primary lithium chemical, with a longer-term option of nano-powders for application in direct production of Li-ion battery cathodes.
The production of these high-value powders will use the Very Small Particle Company (VSPC) technology, which Lithium Australia is acquiring.
Adrian Griffin, managing director, commented: "Global interest in the pilot plant has been significant.
"Development has now moved to the product offtake negotiations and structuring finance options – both with a completion objective of early in the New Year.
"The commercial opportunity for new battery-focused lithium technologies and products is now well enunciated and a pilot plant of this large-scale is the prelude to a full-scale production plant."
How will the LSPP work
The LSPP will employ Lithium Australia's wholly-owned SiLeach® lithium processing technology which eliminates the expensive roasting step otherwise utilised in conventional lithium processing, and can treat all lithium silicates including micas and contaminated spodumene concentrates.
These are currently being disposed of as waste from mining operations around the world.