ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) has appointed Kemetco Research Inc to build and operate the metallurgical test work pilot plant for its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada.
The pilot plant will be built in Vancouver, Canada and the test work forms a key part of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) underway.
The pilot plant’s main bulk sample run is to be conducted in May 2019.
Kemetco has extensive experience with the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron flowsheet having completed prior bench-scale test work as part of the pre-feasibility study (PFS) in 2018.
Ioneer’s managing director Bernard Rowe said: “Kemetco is well known to us having previously worked on the PFS flowsheet for our Rhyolite Ridge Project.
“We are confident they are the best partner to build and operate the pilot plant which will enable us to demonstrate the integrated process flowsheet, produce lithium carbonate and boric acid within the defined specifications for our marketing activities and collect the required test and operation data for the engineering design and scale up.
“We look forward to working with Kemetco on this key part of our DFS.”
Pilot plan to commence operating in late April
Bulk ore samples from both outcrop and drill core will be run through the pilot plant, which is expected to commence operating in late April 2019.
Outcropping lithium-boron ore will be sourced from ioneer’s fully permitted bulk sample site, where 30 tonnes will be sourced.
Additionally, an estimated seven tonnes of drill core from the recently completed drill program is already in storage for use in the pilot plant.