Lithium Energy advances metallurgical testwork and PFS on downstream graphite processing for battery industry
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Lithium Energy is making progress with the metallurgical test work on its Burke and Corella graphite projects in Queensland, where the company is undertaking a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on a proposed vertically integrated manufacturing facility of Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) (a battery anode precursor material).
The Burke graphite metallurgical test work completed by the Beijing General Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BGRIMM) in China achieved +95% total graphitic carbon (TGC) graphite flake concentrate.
The next step is for test work to commence by ProGraphite in Germany, where the Burke graphite flake concentrate will be used as test feedstock material for a test work program to define and optimise the metallurgical and process conditions to produce PSG suitable for use in lithium-ion battery anodes.
This ProGraphite testwork program encompasses:
In addition to the feedstock at Burke, Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) recently announced the inferred mineral resource estimate for the Corella project of 13Mt at 9.5% total graphite carbonate (TGC) for 1.3Mt of contained graphite at a 5% TGC cut-off grade.
This doubles the company’s Queensland graphite inventory to 2.6Mt of contained graphite and allows LEL to examine the introduction of Corella graphite into its overall graphite development objectives.
So far, ~500kg of Corella graphite samples have been sent to China to commence metallurgical test work with the aim of assessing its suitability as additional feedstock (supplementing Burke graphite) for the proposed PSG Plant being assessed in the PFS.
The Corella flowsheet development and assessment and bulk flake concentrate testwork is anticipated to be completed by BGRIMM by October 2023, after which the PSG testwork programme will commence, with completion by ProGraphite anticipated in January 2024.
The outcomes of this critical test work will form the basis of an assessment of the PSG production capacities of the combined Burke and Corella graphite deposits.
Lithium Energy has commenced a PFS which envisages mining graphite from the Burke Graphite Deposit and producing a +95% TGC graphite flake concentrate at the mine site.
The flake concentrate will then be transported to a proposed PSG manufacturing facility in Queensland for processing by firstly mechanically shaping and spheronising the flakes and then chemically purifying the spheronised graphite to form a high quality PSG product.
LEL proposes that this PSG product will be sold as an anode precursor material for use in lithium-ion battery manufacturing or for battery energy storage solutions.
The scope of work for the PFS is expected to be completed in December 2023.
This article was developed in collaboration with Lithium Energy Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.