Canadian firm Frontier Lithium is planning to build demonstration plant in northwestern Ontario, to produce multiple lithium products for industrial and battery markets.
The demonstration plant is planned to be built at the firm’s PAK lithium project, which is located at the south end of Ontario’s Electric Avenue.
The move comes as the company launched the first phase of its development plans for the PAK Lithium Project. Work involves advanced exploration program which aims to confirm the project’s economic viability.
The plant will be equipped to have production capacity of up to 15,000t of lithium concentrate (spodumene) annually from a representative surface sample of the PAK deposit.
Containing up to 4.5% lithium oxide (Li2O), the PAK deposit will be processed through gravity, flotation and magnetic processes with spodumene concentrate ranging from 6 to 7.2% Li2O.
Frontier Lithium president and CEO Trevor Walker said: “Our deposit is located on the other side of the globe from the world-class operating Greenbushes’ deposit in Western Australia which has dominated global hard rock supply for years.
“The demonstration plant will enable us to reach out to customers and offer a high quality, reliable, long term and cost effective North American alternative.”
Upon securing confirmation for related permits and financing, Frontier plans to start construction of the plant in the next 12-20 months.
The demonstration plant will have capacity to produce technical grade concentrates (7.2% Li2O) for the expanding glass and ceramics markets, and chemical grade concentrates (6% Li2O) for the lithium battery market.
It will also qualify products that meet specific customer and application requirements to secure off-take agreements in North America and Europe.
Construction of the plant is aimed at validating and optimizing the mining and milling technology and flow-sheet design prior to finalizing the Phase II Commercial Production feasibility study.
The plant will also serve as a training facility for the local workforce to maximize local benefits of the future mining and milling operations.