Infinity Lithium has ticked off a key milestone with metallurgical testwork producing the first battery-grade lithium hydroxide from its 75 per cent owned San Jose lithium project in Spain. The company’s technical advisory committee has undertaken a parallel review of all technically feasible alternative extractive technologies identifying multiple new processes which could provide opportunities for significant improvements in all parameters of the process flow sheet.
Infinity Lithium has ticked off a key milestone with metallurgical testwork producing the first battery-grade lithium hydroxide from its 75 per cent owned San Jose lithium project in Spain. The company’s technical advisory committee, or “TAC” has undertaken a parallel review of all technically feasible alternative extractive technologies, identifying multiple new processes which could provide opportunities for significant improvements in all parameters of the processing flow sheet.
The metallurgical test work is being conducted in Germany by leading European industrial and specialty minerals producer, Dorfner Anzaplan in collaboration with Inifinity’s TAC in Australia. The test work was designed to verify pre-feasibility study process assumptions and improve process design. The results are set to form the basis of a feasibility study into battery grade lithium hydroxide production from a full-scale San Jose project.
According to Infinity, the test work program to date has seen bench-scale production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate and battery-grade lithium carbonate, along with the completion of a pilot-scale ore beneficiation program of about 400 kilograms of ore. A pilot-scale sulphation roasting has now commenced and is due for completion in early October.
The pilot scale test work is an integral part of the feasibility study for San José, producing enough final product for preliminary market evaluation.
Management says the works are being funded by EIT InnoEnergy, an outfit financed by the European Battery Alliance and are progressing on schedule.
According to Infinity, the successful production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate in open circuit with only a single stage of crystallisation is considered a significant milestone in the program.
A memorandum of understanding with leading lithium-ion battery producer LG Energy Solutions, or “LGES” on potential long-term supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide was recently announced by Infinity. The product specifications determined from the test work are essential to advancing offtake discussions with LGES and other automakers and lithium-ion battery producers.
Infinity also said its parallel test work program to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate was successful. The company said the ability to respond to market demand for either battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate or battery-grade lithium carbonate, or both, is regarded as a significant feature of the process.
Interestingly, the company’s TAC has undertaken a comprehensive review of all technically feasible alternative extractive technologies to ensure optimal processes are adopted for commercial development. Whilst the review confirmed alternative technologies were unlikely to match the adopted process, it did unveil processes which could provide opportunities for significant improvements in the development flowsheet.
In light of the findings, Infinity said it has now commenced a preliminary laboratory-scale test work program to verify the technical feasibility of the processes.
If commercially successful, the processes may represent an attractive alternative for the processing of lithium-bearing minerals and mineral concentrates. Infinity is now preparing provisional patent applications seeking to secure intellectual property rights over these processes.
Infinity’s San Jose project is said to be the second largest hard rock lithium deposit in the European Union with some 111.3 million tonnes in resources going 0.61 per cent lithium oxide.
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