Sign up Australia
Proactive Investors - Run By Investors For Investors

Lithium Australia nears completion of design for cutting-edge SiLeach plant

The hydrometallurgical process is aimed at extracting lithium and valuable by-products at commercial scale from lithium micas.
Graphs of circular economy proposed by Lithium Australia
Lithium Australia is aiming for a circular economy in lithium-ion battery supply

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) is nearing completion of the design for a cutting-edge large-scale pilot plant to demonstrate its SiLeach® hydrometallurgical process.

The plant is aimed at demonstrating the SiLeach® process to extract lithium and by-products at commercial scale from lithium micas.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) activities are progressing as planned and are scheduled for completion in the September quarter of 2018.

READ: Lithium Australia NL identifying feed for large-scale SiLeach pilot plant

Detailed metallurgical test work is demonstrating improved lithium recovery.

This work is further enhancing the SiLeach® flowsheet and the potential to produce high-quality fertiliser as a by-product is enhancing project economics.

Managing director Adrian Griffin said: “The FEED study is advancing well and the improvements in lithium recovery are very encouraging.

“We’re pleased with the increase in confidence around by-product recovery, which is an important aspect of the SiLeach® revenue stream.

“We believe it will allow us to produce lithium chemicals from minerals but at the same low unit cost as that of the brine producers.”

No roasting required

The SiLeach® process is a halide-accelerated, sulphuric acid digestion system, operated at atmospheric pressure.

No roasting is required, significantly reducing the energy footprint when compared with conventional lithium extraction technology.

The process also benefits from a range of potential by-product credits.

Study shows SiLeach benefits

Lithium Australia is building the large-scale pilot plant (LSPP) after a preliminary feasibility study demonstrated the ability of the process to recover lithium chemicals and valuable by-products.

In many instances, lithium micas previously recovered during mining activities have been consigned to tailings dams and mine dumps as waste, due to a lack of metallurgical processing technology.

SiLeach® has the potential to unlock these resources economically.

Plant construction a key step

Construction of the LSPP is a key step in proving SiLeach® at a commercial scale.

Flotation test work on samples of lepidolite.

At full production SiLeach® will facilitate the production of high-quality lithium chemicals from abundant non-brine mineral resources at a cost similar to those of brine producers.

This will be done without the environmental risks associated with conventional roasting or large evaporation ponds.

READ: Lithium Australia able to separate lithium using ore-sorting technology

Planning is underway for a laboratory-scale pilot trial at ANSTO Minerals of the anticipated LSPP feed composition, using concentrates generated from the target sources.

Intended to confirm final flowsheet selection and impurity removal unit processes, the trial should further reduce the risk profile of the LSPP and augment existing bench-scale test work results.

Offtake discussions

The laboratory-scale trial will generate enough lithium chemicals to provide product samples for potential offtake partners, those samples being representative of the commercial product.

Griffin said: "Preliminary discussions with potential offtake partners have been encouraging.

“Our planned laboratory-scale pilot run, while aimed primarily at finalising the flowsheet for construction, will generate significant amounts of lithium chemical product for testing by potential offtake partners.”

View full LIT profile View Profile

Lithium Australia NL Timeline

Related Articles

1537405776_PSM-Gapyeong-targets.jpg
September 20 2018
The company is hoping to mine its graphite flake, see it turned into concentrate, then produce spherical graphite to supply Korean lithium-ion battery-makers.
1528370432_cobalt-on-periodic-table.jpg
June 07 2018
Primary Cobalt Corp is a project generator in growth mode
Copper on the periodic table
March 08 2018
Historical high-grade ore stockpiles present an early cash flow generation opportunity.

No investment advice

The information on this Site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration, so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions. You acknowledge and understand that neither the Company, its related bodies corporate, the information providers or their affiliates will advise you personally about the nature, potential value or suitability of any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment strategy, or other matter. You should read our FSG and any other relevant disclosure documents and if necessary seek persona advice prior to making any investment decision.

You understand and agree that no Content (as defined below) published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable or advisable for any specific person.

You understand that in certain circumstances the Company, its related bodies corporate, the information providers or their affiliates may have received, or be entitled to receive, financial or other consideration in connection with promoting, and providing information about, certain entities on the Site and in communications otherwise provided to you.

You understand that price and other data is supplied by sources believed to be reliable, that the calculations herein are made using such data, and that neither such data nor such calculations are guaranteed by these sources, the Company, the information providers or any other person or entity, and may not be complete or accurate. From time to time, reference may be made in our marketing materials to prior articles and opinions we have published. These references may be selective, may reference only a portion of an article or recommendation, and are likely not to be current. As markets change continuously, previously published information and data may not be current and should not be relied upon.

Before you act on any general advice we provide, please consider whether it is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

© Proactive Investors 2018

Proactive Investors Australia PTY LTD ACN:132787654 ABN:19132787654.

Market Indices, Commodities and Regulatory News Headlines copyright © Morningstar. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of use