This second pilot plant was the follow up to the process piloted at ANSTO Minerals from September 12-17. The initial pilot plant run demonstrated the successful application of the Sileach process for the extraction of lithium from lepidolite ore from Lepidolite Hill in Western Australia.
The second pilot plant campaign processed purified liquor generated in the first campaign and involved evaporation, recovery of lithium carbonate and recovery of potassium sulphate, which is being assessed as a potential value adding by-product. These steps were previously developed in a laboratory program performed by ANSTO Minerals.
The pilot plant produced 6kg of ~99% purity lithium carbonate concentrate and provided further engineering design data for the Sileach process. The lithium carbonate concentrate will be used to produce high-purity lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide products for offtake purposes.
Lithium Australia’s MD, Adrian Griffin commented: “LIT’s goal is to establish a low cost lithium production profile – similar to the brine producers. We are very pleased with the results as reported by ANSTO Minerals. This is another step in de-risking the commercialisation of the halogen-based Sileach process.”