THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia announced the production of lithium chemicals from the company’s Sileach Pilot Plant.
SiLeach® is Lithium Australia’s proprietary lithium processing technology.
The company has conducted Stage 1 and 2 trials of the process at the ANSTO’s minerals piloting facility in New South Wales shortly after commissioning of the second generation, purpose built pilot plant.
Lithium Australia declared Stage 1 of the SiLeach pilot plant trial achieved 94 per cent lithium extraction on continuous run, after which Stage 2 of the SiLeach pilot plant trial kicked off on schedule and produced lithium phosphate within 16 hours of start-up.
from Stage 1 of the trial, SiLeach succeeded in generating lithium solutions from mine waste to feed Stage 2 of the trial, designed to generate lithium chemicals from those solutions.
The Stage 2 trial began as planned on 10 September 2018.
The SiLeach technology was used to separate and remove calcium and fluorine impurities from the lithium solutions generated during Stage 1.
The impurities were precipitated as solids prior to the subsequent precipitation of high-purity lithium phosphate.
Lithium Australia indicated that the barren liquor from that process will be further vendor tested for the recovery of potassium sulphate.
“The success of the new pilot plant facility at ANSTO augurs well for our scale-up aspirations,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“It’s encouraging to note the relative ease with which we’ve achieved targets to date, particularly in view of the feed material used – in this case, contaminated mine waste from the Kalgoorlie region.
“SiLeach is ideal for recovering lithium from such materials.
“We’re also enthusiastic about other applications for some of these process steps; in particular, the recovery of lithium from brine, which currently involves lengthy solar evaporation and is subject to the vagaries of the weather.”