Keliber said that a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure report has been prepared that details the changed plans.
The company said its plans to dispose of effluent from the lithium chemical plant process through evaporation could be replaced with an electrochemical water treatment (EWT) process followed by dissolved air flotation (DAF).
Treated water will now be discharged from the plant along a transfer pipeline to the Kokkola municipal wastewater treatment plant, Hopeakivenlahti, where the chemical plant's water will account for approximately 4% of all incoming wastewater.
Effluent from the chemical plant contains small amounts of lithium, but when mixed with other water, the lithium content of the effluent (approximately 9 mg/l) will be below the limit value set for wastewater treatment plants (22.94 mg/l).
The company is also changing its plans for treatment of Analcime sand, another chemical by-product, which will now be used to strengthen the structure of Kokkola port.
According to the updated plan, the analcime sand will be slurried at the chemical plant with seawater. The resulting sludge will be transferred along a transfer pipeline to the Port of Kokkola, where it will be used for backfilling structures of the harbour extension.
Keliber in March signed an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) deal with Swedish engineering consultancy Sweco for Keliber's lithium project in central Ostrobothnia, Finland.
Sweco will partner with Keliber on the development plans for lithium mine sites and a concentrator plant in Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kruunupyy, and a lithium hydroxide plant in Kokkola.
Keliber said the construction phase of the project is expected to start in 2022, with first production in 2024.