Canadian Manufacturing

Frontier Lithium commences operation of lithium hydroxide mini-pilot plant

Goal of the pilot is to directly produce lithium hydroxide from the PAK Lithium Project resource.

January 8, 2021  by CM Staff

Commissioning of pilot rotary kiln for pyrometallurgical processing.

SUDBURY — Frontier Lithium Inc. announces the commencement of mini-pilot plant operations with XPS Expert Process Solutions, a Glencore Company, at their research and development centre in Falconbridge, ON and at other off-site locations. The goal of the pilot is to directly produce lithium hydroxide from the PAK Lithium Project resource. The PAK project contains Ontario’s highest grade and largest lithium resource and is located in an emerging premium lithium mineral district located in the Great Lakes region of northern Ontario.

In 2020 Frontier Lithium awarded XPS, the contract to jointly construct and operate the Pilot in its Falconbridge, Ontario facility. Sample preparation and concentrate production have recently been completed, pyrometallurgical processing has commenced, and final hydrometallurgical circuit construction and commissioning is currently taking place. The mini-pilot is configured to produce high quality lithium-bearing pregnant leach solution that is suitable for continuous crystallization by a reputable off-site third party with the objective of demonstrating the production of high purity battery quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate from a steady state process.

The pilot aims to generate high-purity battery grade lithium hydroxide chemical which will be used as marketing samples of the product and will also provide essential data required for a future Pre-Feasibility Study to be conducted by the company. The final crystallization work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.

Trevor Walker, President and CEO said “We are excited by our progress with XPS on the mini-pilot plant. Last year’s preliminary test results showed the lithium extraction technology to be viable at bench-scale. The initial commissioning of the pilot represents a significant milestone and marks the culmination of extensive research and development into a flowsheet that could process spodumene concentrates directly to lithium hydroxide chemicals without employing a lithium carbonate intermediate. Frontier is well positioned in the Great Lakes region as it develops Ontario’s largest lithium bearing spodumene resource with multiple deposits which will be required to support North American lithium-ion battery production capacity.”