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Calix and Pilbara Minerals advance lithium processing technologies

Manufacturing News

Industrial technology company Calix and Pilbara Minerals have made ‘significant progress’ in the development of their mid-stream lithium processing demonstration plant which aims to be a model for a full-scale lithium processing industry.

The companies have been developing a demonstration plant at Pilbara’s Pilgangoora Project in Western Australia (pictured) to produce lithium salts from ores which are not normally easily treatable.

The companies aim to demonstrate the production of lithium salts through an ‘innovative midstream value added refining process’ utilising Calix’s patented calcining technology, and evaluate its commercialisation.

The process is said to offer a superior product, lower cost, reduced carbon energy intensity and reduced waste product logistics.

Calix was named as one of Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers by @AuManufacturing at a breakfast function in Melbourne on Monday.

The companies have been progressing their detailed front engineering and design (FEED) to support a final investment decision (FID) which will be considered by the boards of the two companies ‘in the near term’.

They have decided to bring forward expenditure originally planned for post-FID to ensure the delivery schedule and development of the project continues unimpeded.

“Both parties remain committed to finalising the studies to support the FID, which are now at an advanced stage, with a decision expected to be made on or about the end of July.”

The development of the demonstration plant is supported by $20 million through the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative – an initial payment of $8 million has already been received.

“Successful demonstration of the mid-stream process may lead to a commercial scale plant being built as part of Pilbara Minerals future mid-stream strategy and to further commercialisation of the calcination technology, with the JV licensing the technology to the global (lithium) spodumene processing industry.”

Further reading:
Calix and Pilbara Minerals progress lithium chemicals plant
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Calix’s low emissions industrial technologies here.

Picture: Pilbara Minerals

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