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Lithium Universe charges ahead with lithium plant design

Updated: Apr 30

Lithium Universe’s Apollo lithium project in Canada. Credit: File.

Lithium Universe is stepping closer to launching a definitive feasibility study on its Apollo project in Canada after expediting the engineering design for its 1-million-tonne per year Quebec lithium processing hub’s (QLPH) stand-alone concentrator.

The plant is designed for an assumed feed grade of 1.1 per cent lithium oxide, with the output expected to be about 140,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate grading 5.5 per cent lithium oxide.

The company says WA-based Primero has made “outstanding progress” with its engineering study. Its design sheet shows a four-stage crushing process to generate crushed ore ranging from 0.85mm to 6mm in size, with crusher fines smaller than 0.85mm undergoing processing in a dedicated flotation unit before being blended with the final concentrate.

Mica will be removed from the crushed ore using a reflux classifier, a form of gravity-based separation which separates fine particles based on their difference in size or density. The material will then be split into two streams, above and below 3mm particle size, with both directed through a dense media separation (DMS) unit and the final recovered spodumene blended and stored out of the weather.

Management says the design closely resembles that at Galaxy Lithium’s Mt Cattlin operation, except for the inclusion of a flotation unit for the fines and the entire plant being winterised.

The engineering study’s progress for the QLPH stand-alone concentrator by Primero has been exceptional, setting the stage for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS). Considering our listing in early August this year, the pace and quality of work demonstrated by Primero has been truly remarkable. Most companies conducting a study of this calibre typically take at least six to nine months to reach this point. Looking ahead, finalizing equipment specifications and data sheets represents the next step, enabling us to approach suppliers for concrete pricing. The ongoing progress and achievements continue to impress us. Lithium Universe chairman Iggy Tan.

The company says the Primero study has provided a block flow diagram (BFD) and process flow diagrams (PFD), in addition to a mass balance (MB) and process design criteria (PDC). It says says the MD and PDC will feed datasheets that will serve to gather pricing details from vendors and help kick off the procurement process.

Lithium Universe is strategically positioning itself as a leader in lithium project development in Québec, with an extremely rapid timeline from resource acquisition to constructing a spodumene-producing mine. The company’s Apollo project is currently being matured across is vast 240-square-kilometre claims and is considered to be a greenfield project with limited historical exploration.

Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests has identified a total of 17 outcrops on the property as being dominantly pegmatite-hosted and Lithium Universe says its own exploration program is currently underway on the ground. Apollo was staked early last year by a private owner and is on the same trend as and adjacent to ground owned by Patriot Battery Metals and Winsome Resources.

Patriot’s Corvette spodumene deposit holds an inferred resource of 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide and 160 parts per million tantalum oxide. Drilling at the site has returned some impressive hits including 156m at 2.12 per cent lithium oxide.

Winsome Resources has its Adina deposit about 20km east of Apollo, where it has returned best drill results of 107m grading 1.34 per cent lithium oxide from just 2.3m.

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