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CleanTech Lithium commences pilot plant operation

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

CleanTech Lithium PLC, an exploration and development company advancing lithium projects in Chile, has announced that the operation of the company’s pilot plant has commenced and is producing lithium chloride eluate from the Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) process.

Pilot Plant Highlights:

  • Commissioning phase of DLE pilot plant completed and operation underway.
  • Brine from the Laguna Verde project is being fed into DLE columns where lithium chloride is extracted onto the adsorbent, before desorption with water to create a purified lithium chloride eluate.
  • First production of eluate was completed in the past week.
  • A reverse osmosis unit at the pilot plant will be used to concentrate the eluate.
  • The pilot plant has a design capacity of 1 t per month lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) as concentrated eluate.
  • The concentrated eluate will be shipped in batches to North America for conversion into battery-grade lithium carbonate.
  • The company will determine the appropriate volume of each batch based on end user requirements and conversion cost considerations.
  • The company has engaged Conductive Energy for the conversion, utilising standard industry processing steps.
  • The pilot plant will be used for process optimisation and product verification and will provide important input into the Pre-feasibility study (PFS) currently underway for the project.
  • Operation of the pilot plant will place CTL among a small number of companies in the lithium exploration sector to produce meaningful quantities of battery grade product at pilot scale.
  • Samples of the product will be made available to potential strategic partners such as major auto and battery manufacturers, in preparation for off-take agreements.

Commenting, Aldo Boitano, Chief Executive Officer of CleanTech Lithium PLC, said:

“I am very pleased to inform the market that our pilot plant has commenced operation with the first volume of lithium chloride eluate produced. Batches of concentrated eluate will be shipped to North America to be converted into battery grade lithium carbonate by a third-party processor. This pilot plant plans to produce significant quantities of battery grade product for evaluation by potential strategic partners, making CTL one of the few companies in the sector to produce pilot scale volumes of battery grade product. The pilot plant positions CTL as a leader in the sector and in Chile, with first eluate production representing a significant milestone for the company.”

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Lithium mining news South American mining news