Lithium Australia has committed to a large-scale pilot plant (LSPP) utilising its SiLeach technology, which underwent a preliminary feasibility study in July last year to positive results.
The SiLeach process is a fluoride and sulphuric acid-based leach that is focused on optimising water balance and potassium sulphate production; it eliminates the need for the usual lithium carbonate roasting process, saving time, lowering operating costs and resulting in a more direct chain to battery-producing end users.
Once agreements are finalised, the company will commit to the creation of the LSPP site, reagent supplies, process feed material and supporting infrastructure in order to progress the commercialisation of SiLeach.
This is in keeping with the company’s larger goal to become a premier producer of disruptive lithium extraction methods.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin stressed the project’s potential as a sustainable solution:
“Our commitment to advancing the SiLeach process to an industrial scale is a critical element in the research and development required to bring a superior process into the lithium industry,” he explained. “Success will allow us to utilise mine waste in the production of lithium chemicals, one of our great sustainability goals.”