Scoping level test work was used to produce the battery grade compound from a spodumene mineral concentrate sample

Core Lithium sample

Core Lithium produces battery grade - lithium hydroxide monohydrate min 56.5% from a sample from the Finniss lithium project. (Credit: Core Lithium Ltd)

Core Lithium announced that it has achieved production of battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LH) from the Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The Australian lithium developer said that scoping level test work was used on a spodumene mineral concentrate sample from the project to produce the battery grade compound.

Core Lithium said that the scoping level test work programme has shown that the conventional ‘direct’ flowsheet can be applied for achieving the production.

The direct conversion flowsheet involved decrepitation, sulfation baking or water leaching, purification, Glauber salt crystallisation, and lithium hydroxide crystallisations.

The company claimed that the concentrate from the Finniss lithium project can be used for the high-end lithium battery, electric vehicle, and renewable energy industries.

Core Lithium said that it will now consider the down-stream value potential of the project based on the synergies with the adjacent Middle-Arm industrial infrastructure near Darwin.

Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said: “This successful proof-of-concept test work provides Core, and our customers, the confidence in utilising Finniss lithium concentrates in the global lithium battery supply chain.

“Together with the recent award of Major Project Status from the Federal Government, this programme lays a foundation for Core to explore the potential of adding downstream processing infrastructure to our portfolio, incorporating the strong synergies with the infrastructure at the nearby Middle-Arm Industrial Precinct at Darwin Port and aligning with Australia’s national Modern Manufacturing Strategy and expansion of the Global lithium battery supply chain.”

The company aims to wrap up the definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the Finniss lithium project concentrate and finalising ongoing off-take negotiations prior to making a final investment decision (FID) in the third quarter of 2021.

An earlier DFS published in April 2019 called for an investment of AUD73m ($55.72m) on the Finniss lithium project to extract 175,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium concentrate.

The lithium project holds mineral resource of 9.63 million tonnes at 1.4% lithium oxide.