Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) teams up with Calix to develop mid-stream lithium chemicals refinery

Company News

by Michael Luu

Lithium player Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has agreed to join forces with with CO2-reduction technology developer Calix (ASX:CLX) to construct a lithium production facility.

The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate the development process of a midstream lithium chemicals refinery with a scoping study. 

Under the preliminary agreement, the $3.8 billion miner will fund the research operation in preparation for a demonstration plant designed to refine thousands of tonnes of spodumene concentrate from the Pilgangoora mining project. 

The prospective pilot facility will generate electricity from renewable energy to power its advanced mineral separation mechanism. The core technology is designed to convert fine particle, lower-grade spodumene concentrate into low-carbon, concentrated lithium salt. This ingredient is considered a crucial component in the production of lithium batteries  

Pilbara Minerals explained the importance of the project’s success, “At the mine, if we can efficiently calcine a lower-grade spodumene concentrate we should also be able to achieve a higher recovery from the ore body”.

A better refined product has the potential to give its manufacturer a competitive edge in the booming sustainable energy industry

Another major difference the plant offers to the efficiency of lithium production activities is the reduction of operational expenses and wasted materials at mines. 

The consortium are currently discussing terms and a timeline for the execution of the demonstration plant’s project and commercialisation strategies.

Shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) are trading 2.3 per cent lower at $1.28