Importantly, the testwork results showed that Neometals’ product quality is comparable to industry leading zeolite products.
The success of the bench scale testwork has justified progressing to the next phase of development, demonstrating the technology at a pilot scale, set to commence in the September quarter.
Assuming a successful pilot test‐work program, Neometals plans to use the data derived from the pilot plant to commence a class 3 engineering cost and feasibility study.
Neometals’ managing director Chris Reed said: “The unequivocal demonstration of the ability to convert lithium refinery leach residue waste into high value zeolite products further demonstrates the company’s ability to identify and develop an opportunity to improve the economics and environmental sustainability of our downstream lithium chemical strategy.
“We look forward to announcing the expected capital and operating costs when they become available.”
Zeolite could improve refinery project economics
Zeolite materials are produced as both naturally occurring and synthetic materials.
Synthetic zeolites such as those produced by Neometals’ process at bench‐scale, are typically used in more demanding industrial applications such as molecular sieves for natural gas dehydration, air and hydrocarbon purification.
The initial driver for the development of zeolite from lithium refinery leach residue was to improve project economics for a refinery development by lowering waste disposal costs and increasing co-product revenue.