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Lithium Universe study confirms high-purity product

Updated: Apr 30

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

Lithium Universe says a study into its lithium carbonate refinery at its burgeoning Québec processing hub suggests it should produce a final lithium carbonate product grading between 99.5 and 99.9 per cent.

The refinery is rated to 16,000 tonnes per annum, with an assumed feed grade of 5.5 per cent lithium oxide. Anhydrous sodium sulphate, generally used in the textile industry, will be sold as a by-product and alumina silicate residue from the leached spodumene will be sold to the cement industry.

The engineering study, completed by global consultant Hatch, has delivered the black flow diagram, process flow diagrams, mass balance and process design criteria defining mass flows, splits and anticipated tonnages concerning significant equipment for the refinery – all significant pieces of the design puzzle.

Lithium Universe also says Hatch has delivered a location study, aimed at isolating the optimal site for the refinery, which evaluated multiple locations against 2021 and 2023 site location benchmarks.

The company has now homed in on the Bécancour Industrial Park located between Québec City and Montreal as the ideal location. The park sits on the south bank of the St Lawrence River and offers marine transport routes via the Port of Bécancour, which has five berths and 100 million consumers accessible in a 1000km radius.

The progress of the engineering study for the QLPH Lithium Refinery by Hatch has been excellent, 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 Hatch, guided by the Company’s Lithium Dream Team, has been pleasing. Lithium Universe chairman Iggy Tan.

The company’s 80 per cent-owned, 240-square-kilometre flagship Apollo hard-rock lithium project in Quebec is currently the focus of its exploration push as it looks for an in-ground resource to feed its downstream plans – and Apollo appears to have plenty of potential.

It sits on the same greenstone belt and 29km from Patriot Battery Metals’ Corvette lithium project, which 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 also has its Adina deposit about 28km east of Apollo, where it has returned best drill results of 107m grading 1.34 per cent lithium oxide from just 2.3m.

Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests has completed mapping over the Apollo project area and has identified a total of 17 pegmatite outcrops.

Earlier this month, Lithium Universe board members flew to Dubai to meet with Québec’s Minister of Economics, Innovation and Energy and the president of Investissement Québec International during the COP 28 Climate Conference. The company says the meeting proved immensely fruitful, allowing it to outline its strategy and vision to be a key player in the region’s critical minerals push.

As Lithium Universe looks towards dominating the downstream landscape in Québec, the company has now taken another step towards being a trailblazer in the region, with the latest engineering study results confirming excellent-grade lithium carbonate product.

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