Eye on Lithium: UK’s Tees Valley heads to lithium heartland of WA to set up large chemical refinery
All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, January 10
A UK lithium player has nabbed a slice of the WA State Governments Industrial Lands Panel’s $70 billion for seven projects in the Boodarie and Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Areas (SIAs).
Subsidiary of UK-listed Alkemy Capital, Tees Valley Lithium, has been allocated land in the Boodarie SIA, about 4 kilometres west of South Hedland and 12 kilometres south of Port Hedland for its lithium sulphate (LSM) refinery.
“Building the Port Hedland LSM refinery will provide Australian spodumene producers with a complete mid-stream lithium refining solution with direct access to the European market through TVL’s Lithium Hydroxide refinery at the Wilton International Chemicals Park in Teesside, UK,” Alkemy and Tees Valley Lithium (TVL) Director Sam Quinn said.
“This new Pilbara to Teesside supply chain will embody the new critical minerals supply chains possible under the recently signed free trade agreement between Australia and the UK and leverage the competitive strengths of Australia in mining and critical minerals processing and the UK in chemical refining.
“Importantly, the Port Hedland LSM refinery will bring major value-adding to the Pilbara region, with significant multiplier benefits for the local community and the State of Western Australia, whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the end-to-end lithium battery cell supply chain to meet new European emissions standards.”
#ALK @TVLithium has been allocated land to build a Lithium Sulphate refinery at Boodarie at Port Hedland, Western Australia the largest bulk export port in the world and the largest container port in Australia
— Alkemy Capital Investments Plc (LON:ALK) (@AlkemyCapital) January 9, 2023
Train 1 of the Port Hedland LSM refinery is set to process spodumene from Australian lithium miners to produce 40,000 tpa of primary LSM, with Trains 2-4 adding a further 120,000 tpa primary LSM production in future expansions.
Construction of Train 1 of TVL’s LHM processing facility at the Wilton International Chemicals Park in Teesside, UK, the first of 4 trains planned for the site, is due to commence in 2023.
Initial production of 24,000 tpa of battery-grade LHM is planned for 2025.
And once completed, all 4 trains will produce a total of 96,000 tpa LHM, representing around 15% of Europe’s projected demand by 2030.
The Port Hedland LSM plant, together with TVL’s planned LHM processing facility at the “Wilton International Chemicals Park in Teesside, UK, will deliver a low carbon, de-risked lithium supply chain between Australian spodumene producers and the burgeoning European lithium battery cell market,” the company says.
A total of 39 stocks were in the green, 50 were flat and 48 were red.
The company and its direct lithium extraction technology partner, Lilac Solutions have achieved a couple of milestones at the Kachi project – namely operating the demonstration plant continuously for over 1,000 hours to date and producing 40,000 litres of lithium chloride concentrate within specified concentration limits.
This means that Lilac has met all key testing milestones in accordance with the agreed timeline, with the lithium chloride eluate produced now in the process of being shipped to Saltworks and converted to lithium carbonate, after which it will be independently tested for purity.
“Lilac’s ion exchange technology is revolutionizing lithium extraction, and we are very excited to ship these first truckloads of lithium chloride produced on site at the Kachi project,” Lilac CEO David Snydacker said.
“Increasing the global supply of lithium is critical for our energy transformation, and we are proud of our progress in building an environmentally- and socially responsible lithium supply chain.”
Green Technology Metals has reported further high-grade lithium assay results from its Root Project, in Ontario, Canada.
Best results include 15.9m at 1.12% Li2O from 98.1m (including 6.0m at 1.91% Li2O from 99.0).
“The high-grade assay results received from Phase 2 extensional drilling at McCombe demonstrate continuation of the lithium bearing pegmatites along strike and down dip,” CEO Luke Cox said.
“Several additional lithium bearing pegmatites have been intersected to the north-east and drilling will continue to delineate their extent”.
“The second drill rig mobilised to the Morrison prospect just before Christmas and completed 6 diamond holes, all intersecting pegmatite.
“Logging and assaying are now underway with the rig continuing in a north & west direction towards McCombe.”
The company says high resolution historical satellite data (multi-spectral) correlates with the known mapped pegmatites at its Trieste lithium project – and therefore can be used as an efficient and cost-effective tool to refine field program targets.
LLI has now engaged Geospatial Intelligence to conduct more complex derivations of satellite borne data across the project to streamline its method of refining targets for the inaugural field program in the Canadian spring 2023.
“Hard rock lithium exploration typically starts with an outcrop – identified via satellite photograph and verified by in-field geologists,” CEO Adam Ritchie says..
“With the help of our partners at Geospatial Intelligence we plan to take the use of satellite imagery data to the next level and streamline this time consuming and costly process.”
“Trieste is a huge strategic land holding with many highly prospective targets.
“Therefore, the deployment of technology to refine targets and reduce the physical work in-field is paramount.”
Gold Mountain says soil sampling at the Custodia project in Brazil shows the area is prospective for LCT bearing pegmatites.
The 141 soil samples support earlier reconnaissance rock chip results which indicated that LCT bearing pegmatites are present in the project areas.
“Further work on Custodia is planned to follow up this promising start to our exploration and it is planned to resume exploration at Custodia later this month,” CEO and executive director Tim Cameron said.
Power has appointed executive director Mena Habib as MD as well as former Lake Resources technical director Dr Nicholas Lindsay as technical advisor.
The company says the appointments will ensure it has “the right mix of skills to support its rapidly developing lithium strategy in Argentina and its Australia critical mineral projects.”
Habib was instrumental in establishing in-country relationships for the Salta lithium project and, formulating and implementing the project’s exploration and development strategy, which is focused on expediting commercial outcomes at Salta.
Over the past 12 months Habib has successfully negotiated and entered into MoU agreements with Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) industry leader, Sunresin New Materials Co. Ltd. and battery metals end-to-end supply chain solutions provider Xiamen Xiangyu New Energy Co., Ltd (Xiamen Xiangyu), and has overseen the commencement of a Mineral Resource definition drilling campaign at the Salta Project, which is currently ongoing.
Plus, Dr Lindsay’s hands-on experience and expertise in developing a major emerging lithium project in the region will be “invaluable to Power as we forge ahead with our plans to maximise the commercial outcomes of the Salta Project,” non-executive chairman Stephen Ross said.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Gold Mountain and Green Technology Metals are Stockhead advertisers, it did not sponsor this article.