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Infinity Lithium buoyed by new lithium conversion process

Updated: May 2

Infinity Lithium has recorded impressive results from a new recovery process. Credit: File

Infinity Lithium subsidiary Infinity Greentech has confirmed improvements in recoveries and the successful production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide through the application of its “Li-Stream RPK” process.

The patent-protected process has been specifically developed and optimised for the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide at the company’s San José project in Spain. Management says the use of San José mica as part of the process has the potential to herald a new European production era for lithium mica applications.

Infinity Lithium says its lithium conversion process has confirmed more than 90 per cent recoveries from run-of-mine (ROM) to lithium products. It has also established the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide through the direct processing of ROM from San José.

The company says the Li-Stream RPK process – developed by its technical advisory committee – significantly reduces the ROM-to-product flowsheet complexity by eliminating a number of unit operations, including the requirement for beneficiation, calcining and roasting, while co-generating energy applicable for leaching, evaporation and crystallisation. And it believes there is potential to improve the production, environmental and economic profiles of the project even further.

Management has engaged Wave International to conduct a feasibility study into the economic viability of Li-Stream RPK at the project and the result is expected to be delivered as soon as next month.

The advancement of novel applications for hard rock lithium conversion to battery grade lithium chemicals is progressing globally in response to ESG, economic and demand factors. The extraordinary results achieved can significantly improve San José and lead European production into a new era for lithium mica applications. Infinity Lithium managing director and chief executive officer Ryan Parkin

San José sits near the town of Cáceres in the region of Extremadura and boasts one of Europe's leading JORC-compliant hard-rock lithium deposits, with a total indicated and inferred resource base of 111 million tonnes at 0.61 per cent lithium oxide.

Infinity plans to mine lithium ore and also refine it into lithium chemicals suitable for European battery makers. A 2021 scoping study estimated steady-state production on site, averaging 19,500 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in a 26-year period.

San José was originally intended to be an open-pit mine, but after consultation with regional authorities the project has been redesigned as an underground mining operation with a nearby processing hub. Interestingly, the underground deposit will be accessed through a tunnel at the beneficiation plant – a move the company says will deliver no visual, audible or vibration-based effects to the people of Cáceres.

Infinity’s wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary, Extremadura New Energies, is proposing a fully-integrated mining and downstream processing project to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide from a lithium mica feedstock.

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