The optimised flowsheet developed during this test-work will serve as the basis of the chemical plant PFS, which is anticipated for completion in Q2 2020.
“Encouraged by the positive results generated so far”
President and CEO Keith D. Phillips said: “We are very encouraged by the positive results generated so far in the lithium hydroxide test work program and expect the results to be announced soon.
“The optimization tests performed by SGS will allow us to refine the proposed chemical plant flowsheet and will underpin the prefeasibility study targeted for completion in Q2 2020.
“Completion of the PFS, along with continued advances on the permitting and offtake fronts, position us to advance our Project to shovel-ready status by the end of the year, well-timed for the recovery in lithium prices and market sentiment that many observers are forecasting for the remainder of this year.”
Block flow diagram of the lithium hydroxide conversion program
A seperate lithium conversion test work program is also taking place using a direct-to-hydroxide approach.
Ion exchange tests and optimisation tests on bench-scale samples have been completed for calcination, roasting, water leach, primary and secondary impurity removal and filtration.
Around 90% of the work has been completed, with multi-stage lithium hydroxide crystallisation and final assay results expected in the coming weeks.
Further conversion testing to demonstrate product quality
Following production of initial samples, Piedmont will undertake additional conversion tests using optimised test conditions to demonstrate repeatability of product quality and confirm the flow-sheet design.
Once the test work has been completed, the company will be in a position to share lithium hydroxide samples with prospective offtake partners.
Piedmont has been continuing discussions with potential customers and these samples will provide the first opportunity for customers to assess the quality of the material.