IGO Ltd has announced it has produced Australia’s first lithium hydroxide chemical products destined for battery manufacturing at its new Kwinana refinery south of Perth.
The company, which is focused on mining and the electrification of transport, energy storage and renewable energy generation, is progressing the commissioning of the first train, Train 1, at the refinery.
The program is ‘hot commissioning’ each of the individual unit processes sequentially through calcining, acid roasting, leaching, purification and chemical crystallisation on a batch basis.
This has now culminated in the production of the first batch of lithium hydroxide chemicals.
IGO told investors the focus had now turned to operating Train 1 on a continuous basis while improving quality to battery grade for trials with potential customers.
Managing director Peter Bradford said: “First production…represents a milestone for the Lithium JV.
“We have done so ahead of the internal schedule developed earlier this year.”
The joint venture with IGO and Tianqi Lithium Corporation comprises a 51 per cent stake in the Greenbushes Lithium Mine and 100 per cent interest in the downstream processing refinery at Kwinana to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide.
Bradford said there was strong demand globally in the lithium market.
“(This) reinforces the strategic nature of Kwinana which, together with the Greenbushes mine, is rapidly evolving into a globally significant, integrated lithium operation catering to the specific needs of premium lithium-ion battery manufacturers.”
Picture: IGO Ltd
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.