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Infinity Lithium testing boosts recoveries at Spanish play

Updated: Apr 30

Infinity Lithium testing boosts recoveries at Spanish play

Testwork on ore from Infinity Lithium’s San José project in Spain has confirmed recoveries of more than 90 per cent, a result that will support a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and pilot plant design.

The company says the results exceed recoveries assumed in the project’s scoping study and confirm consistent production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate from San José, which boasts a 111-million-tonne orebody grading 0.61 per cent lithium oxide.

Management says the “locked-cycle” testwork was completed at Simulus Group laboratories and was led by the Infinity GreenTech technical advisory committee that is chaired by Infinity’s chief technical officer Jon Starink. The company says the results confirm, and in some cases, exceed excellent lithium recoveries achieved using its trademarked “Li-Stream RPK” process in testing, the results of which were released to the market in September last year.

In all three of the latest testwork cycles, the process provided battery-grade lithium hydroxide products with total impurities of less than 0.1 per cent.

The company says the results serve to further de-risk the upscaling of testwork in a future demonstration plant at the project. They will also provide reliable data to feed detailed engineering studies and optimisations in the plant’s design, which will utilise the Li-Stream RPK process for which the patent is pending.

The program confirmed the results of process simulations and validated key parameters underpinning the technical and commercial feasibility of extraction of lithium from the San José material and provides a solid foundation for further engineering towards a DFS and the pilot plant design. Infinity Lithium chief technical officer Jon Starink

A locked-cycle test is a repetitive batch process that recycles tails material between flotation stages to better simulate a continuous circuit at lab scale. It is used to verify that the inclusion of recycled solids to the previous stage does not negatively impact performance and allows an investigation into how reagents may build up within the circuit, in addition to the optimisation of reagent dose rates.

Infinity says its testing simulated the complete process and included recycle streams to assess steady-state operation of the mass flows – and it threw up  no major deviations from the expected steady-state conditions. Management says that confirms Li-Stream RPK as the optimal technique for recovering lithium from its San José project ore.

The project is currently undergoing fieldwork, including geophysical surveys and sampling campaigns, to support the submission of an exploitation concession application (ECA) for the operation with local authorities. 

San José is 75 per cent-owned by Infinity and boasts one of Europe’s biggest hard rock lithium deposits. The development of the project was given the tick of approval last year from the Cáceres Local Government, which deemed the proposed operation compatible with urban legislative requirements.

Infinity is now planning to construct a fully-integrated underground mining and downstream processing project to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate from run-of-mine feedstock, in a bid to service the lithium-hungry European battery manufacturing market.

And the project is well positioned to do just that, sitting near the town of Cáceres in the Extremadura region in the west of Spain where it is connected via sealed roads to potential offtake partner facilities.

With fresh test results propping up Infinity’s plans, the market is now awaiting the progression of the company’s ECA approval to really get the ball rolling.

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