28/04/2009 - 12:13

Galaxy Resources plans plant in China

28/04/2009 - 12:13

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Galaxy Resources says it is investigating several sites in China for a processing plant for its Mt Cattlin lithium and tantalum project near Ravensthorpe.

Galaxy Resources plans plant in China

Galaxy Resources says it is investigating several sites in China for a processing plant for its Mt Cattlin lithium and tantalum project near Ravensthorpe.

Results from a prefeasibility study (PFS) into the downstream processing of lithium carbonate suggested the economics of the project could be improved by locating the plant closer to the end markets where there is a "cheaper source of acid, soda ash, electricity and consumable costs".

"It is also expected that establishing a facility in China will require lower capital cots, resulting in a more robust project," Galaxy said in a statement.

"Galaxy has commenced the next stage of the study by investigating several sites in China."

The PFS also increased the net present value of the project to a range between $310 milliona nd $360 million, close to a three-fold increase from a previous study which only investigated the sale of spodumene.

Earlier this year, the board gave the go ahead for the development of Mt Cattlin, which includes a 1 million tonne per annum mine and concentrator to produce spodumene and tantalum concentrate.

A definitive feasibility study into the project, located near Ravensthorpe, pegged the project to cost $68 million.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

Highlights

- Pre-feasibility Study completed for downstream processing of lithium carbonate produced at the Mt Cattlin Lithium-Tantalum Project in Ravensthorpe

- Net Present Value of the project ranges between $310 million to $360 million, close to a three-fold increase from "sale of spodumene only" study

- Results indicate that the project economics could be improved by locating the lithium chemical plant closer to lithium carbonate end markets and lower associated capital and operating costs
- Galaxy is now in the process of investigating potential sites in China for the lithium chemical plant to process concentrate from Ravensthorpe
- The Chinese DFS for lithium carbonate processing is expected to be completed by end of Q3 2009

Emerging lithium producer, Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) is pleased to announce positive results from a Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) into downstream processing of lithium carbonate from its Mt Cattlin Lithium-Tantalum project near Ravensthorpe. The PFS, which was completed three months ahead of schedule, investigated the viability of a value-adding downstream strategy to process the Mt Cattlin spodumene into battery grade lithium carbonate.

In January, Galaxy announced its intention to proceed with the development of the Mt Cattlin project, incorporating a 1 million tpa mine and concentrator at Mt Cattlin to produce spodumene and tantalum concentrate.

Galaxy Managing Director Iggy Tan said by moving further down the lithium battery supply chain, Galaxy would be able to significantly enhance the value of the Mt Cattlin Lithium-Tantalum project.

"Our mine DFS completed in December had already indicated that the "sale of spodumene concentrate" stage of the Mt Cattlin Lithium-Tantalum project was economically viable," said Mr Tan.

"Now, the results of the lithium carbonate PFS have confirmed that the Net Present Value of the project has increased and now ranges between $310 million to $360 million".

"By producing our own lithium carbonate we are able to gain greater control over the quality and pricing of the end product," he said.

The lithium carbonate PFS results indicated that downstream chemical processing is viable, but that the economics of the project could be improved by locating the chemical plant closer to the end markets where there is a cheaper source of acid, soda ash, electricity and consumable costs. It is also expected that establishing a facility in China will require lower capital costs, resulting in a more robust project. Galaxy has commenced the next stage of the study by investigating several sites in China.

Pre Feasibility Study - Lithium Carbonate Production

After investigating various options, a sulphate processing technique was selected as the most appropriate. The sulphate route is an established and accepted processing method used extensively in China to convert spodumene to battery grade lithium carbonate. Galaxy has developed and established a risk free flow sheet that is very similar the current operating plants in China.

For the purpose of the study, a kiln feed rate of 137,000 tonnes per annum was assumed. The following key process steps have been proposed:
- Kiln Feed 137,000 tonnes @ 6% Li2O
- Decrepitation - rotary kiln
- Sulphating roast and leaching
- Precipitation and Ion exchange
- Lithium carbonate crystallisation
- Sodium Sulphate crystallisation
- 17,000 tonnes per annum lithium carbonate production
- Bulk shipment through Esperance port

 

 

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