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Neometals produces test Li hydroxide

10 Apr 2018 13:01 (+01:00 GMT)
Neometals produces test Li hydroxide

Perth, 10 April (Argus) — Test work on run of mine lithium concentrate from the Mt Marion lithium mine in Western Australia has produced lithium hydroxide monohydrate suitable for use in the lithium-ion battery sector.

Processing of a 300kg sample from Mt Marion validated the production process and facilitated the calculation of material balances and process design criteria, said Neometals, a part owner of the Mt Marion which ships lithium concentrate to China.

Neometals is preparing to use a direct conversion sulphate process to produce battery quality lithium hydroxide from spodumene.

Neometals plans to build a processing plant to produce 10,000 t/yr of lithium hydroxide from 2021 to supply the supply electric vehicle and energy storage battery markets.

It has completed a pre-feasibility study on sulphate conversion and another study on utilising a patented Eli chloride process.

Management is now seeking board approval to appoint a firm to conduct the Front-End Engineering Design study, the company said.

Neometals is a shareholder in the Mt Marion lithium mine along with Australia's Mineral Resources and China's Ganfeng Lithium. It aims to become an integrated lithium producer, utilising its share of Mt Marion's output to achieve its downstream conversion goals.

The only other lithium hydroxide plant in Australia is being developer by China's Tianqi Lithium using lithium concentrate from the Greenbushes mine it co-owns with US-based Albermarle.

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