• Lithium Universe has started metallurgical testing various international sources of spodumene
  • This process involves mirroring the Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant in WA
  • The proposed site in Québec has port and river access allowing spodumene import from Africa and South America


Special Report: Lithium Universe has started metallurgical test work on various sources of spodumene in response to the lithium conversion capacity gap in the North American market.

This process involves utilising the flowsheet developed for the Québec lithium processing hub refinery which will mirror the successful Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant, incorporating all the enhancements made during commissioning and start-up.

Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) says the objective of establishing a standalone lithium refinery is to design it with the robust capability to process spodumene feedstock from any part of the world, subject to freight and transportation costs.

Samples from Australia and South America featuring various lithium grades have been collected and are currently undergoing metallurgical laboratory processing in LU7’s contracted laboratory.


Lithium Universe contracted laboratory test facilities. Pic via LU7


Processing spodumene feedstock from worldwide sources

From the company’s point of view, it is critical the proposed refinery has the capability to efficiently process spodumene feedstock from diverse sources worldwide.

LU7 says this adaptability ensures its lithium production operation remains robust and flexible, offering optionality in spodumene feedstock while the Canadian supply chain continues to develop.

It also positions the proposed lithium refinery to navigate fluctuations in the global spodumene market, maintaining operational continuity and stability.


Samples up to 6% Li2O

A diverse range of commercial spodumene concentrations have been selected for these tests, encompassing a broad spectrum of lithium grades, particle sizes, and impurities.

Within the scope of this program, spodumene samples ranging from 5-6% Li2O, with diverse particle sizes, are being subjected to comprehensive testing spanning several weeks.


Battery grade lithium carbonate. Pic via LU7


The program involves calcination, sulphation, leaching, impurity removal, precipitation and final purification, all aimed at achieving a battery-grade product.

Currently, the testing is progressing smoothly, and no challenges have been identified with any of the spodumene samples, LU7 says.


Calcination of spodumene – before and after. Pic via LU7


Short term dip an ‘advantageous window’

“Despite the decline in lithium prices affecting numerous industry players, Lithium Universe is full steam ahead,” LU7 chairman Iggy Tan says.

“We view the current short-term dip in lithium prices as an advantageous window to finalise feasibility studies before the onset of the next cycle.

“These moments present tangible opportunities for our organisation.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Lithium Universe, 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.