Core Lithium has delivered battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LH) at the Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) used the conventional direct flowsheet to produce LH from Finniss’ spodumene mineral concentrate.
This involved decrepitation, sulfation baking/water leaching, purification, Glauber salt crystallisation and lithium hydroxide crystallisations.
The success pushes Core to believe that the Finniss lithium concentrate is of a quality that is suitable for the high-end lithium battery, renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) industries.
Core managing director Stephen Biggins said the proof-of-concept test work provided the company and its customers the confidence in using Finniss lithium concentrates in the global lithium battery supply chain.
“Together with the recent award of major project status from the federal government, this program lays a foundation for Core to explore the potential of adding downstream processing infrastructure to our portfolio, incorporating the strong synergies with the infrastructure at the nearby Middle-Arm Industrial Precinct at Darwin Port and aligning with Australia’s national modern manufacturing strategy and expansion of the global lithium battery supply chain,” Biggins said.
The Finniss project is located south of Darwin Port.
Core intends to drive the updated Finniss definitive feasibility study (DFS) and its offtake negotiations into completion before making a final investment decision in the third quarter of this year.
The DFS released in 2019 shows Core’s potential to produce 175,000 tonnes a year of lithium concentrate at an operating expenditure of $US300 ($392 million) per tonne.
Core plans to start project construction this year, employing 360 people during this phase and sustaining 250 jobs during operation.