THE BOURSE WHISPERER: ioneer Ltd (ASX: INR) has had battery-grade lithium hydroxide produced using standard commercial processes on ore from the company’s Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA.
ioneer said the testwork had been carried out by Veolia Water Technologies Inc. as part of the Rhyolite Ridge DFS.
Veolia is the world’s largest supplier of evaporator and crystalliser systems and is globally regarded for its processing expertise.
Veolia’s benchscale testwork simulated major unit operations within the DFS process flowsheet and produced: boric acid and lithium carbonate; and high-purity (battery grade) lithium hydroxide.
“Veolia has a strong track record in designing and supplying production processes for the lithium industry,” ioneer managing director Bernard Rowe dais in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“By simulating major unit operations of the Rhyolite Ridge process flowsheet, Veolia has successfully validated the commercial process and confirmed key flowsheet parameters being finalised in the Rhyolite Ridge DFS.
“This gives us confidence that our commercial process is both straightforward and scalable.
“Using the technical-grade lithium carbonate produced from Rhyolite Ridge DFS flowsheet, Veolia has successfully completed bench-scale testing to support the commercial application for crystallising battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
“The testwork confirms that Rhyolite Ridge will be able to produce a range of products at the mine site including boric acid, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
“ioneer is well placed to meet the expected strong North American demand for lithium as the United States looks to develop a domestic battery supply chain.”