Overview

Overview

Neometals Ltd and Mineral Resources Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly assess the technical and commercial feasibility of the construction and operation of a lithium chemical plant in the Eastern Goldfields of WA with nameplate capacity of 20,000 - 25,000 tpa of lithium carbonate equivalent production.

The proposed process route will utilise the conventional sulphate/caustic soda process used by leading Chinese lithium converters (including Ganfeng) and will eliminate the need for pilot testing as Ganfeng will be processing Run-of-Mine concentrates at commercial scale from the December Quarter 2016.

Under the plan the partners would use lithium concentrate from their jointly - owned Mt Marion Project to produce a battery-quality, lithium hydroxide product suitable for direct sales to the Lithium Ion Battery industry for use in production of battery cathodes.

Having a plant located near the Mt Marion operation is expected to provide significant operational and logistical cost benefits while there would be widespread Goldfields and State economic benefits through the secondary processing of raw materials to develop high-value products.

Key activities under the MoU will include:

  • Front end engineering and design (FEED)
  • Site selection and acquisition
  • Negotiation of reagent supplies (gas, sulphuric acid, caustic soda)
  • Assessment of environmental and regulatory approvals

Initial work streams under the MOU will commence in 2016, with a Final Investment Decision expected by Q3 of 2017.

Due to conflicts with optimum commercialisation schedules for new lithium hydroxide supply, the ELi Process is not being considered for the initial design.

Project updates

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  • Video interview on lithium hydroxide plant

    Chris Reed, chief executive of Neometals Ltd (ASX:NMT), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their decision to enter into an option agreement to sub-lease a 40-hectare site in Kalgoorlie for a proposed lithium hydroxide refinery.

    With a lithium hydroxide plant, Neometals aims to take lithium concentrate feed from its nearby 13.8% owned Mt Marion lithium operations and convert it to the higher value lithium hydroxide product.

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  • MoU for Kalgoorlie Lithium Refinery Site and Infrastructure

    Option agreement executed with City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for sub-lease of site for Neometals lithium hydroxide refinery.

    Proposed 40 hectare location is only 70km from the existing Mt Marion Lithium Operations, 5km from Kalgoorlie township and adjacent to critical infrastructure.

    Kalgoorlie lithium hydroxide refinery is part of Neometals’ strategy to realise maximum value from its lithium feedstocks at a time of unprecedented global demand for battery raw materials and chemicals.

    FEED study for the refinery is in progress, process testing completed.

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  • Neometals Launches FEED Study for Lithium Hydroxide Project

    Engineering firm M+W Group has been awarded the contract to perform the FEED Study and deliver its report in Q4 2018. M+W successfully completed an Engineering Cost Study for Neometals in 2016.

    Vendor Testing by Veolia Water Technologies produced a 99.99% pure lithium hydroxide monohydrate, suitable for use by the lithium ion battery sector.

    The successful test work validated the proposed production process for the FEED Study.

    The project Feasibility Study will integrate the results of the FEED Study ahead of a potential project investment decision in Q1 2019.

    The proposed Kalgoorlie Lithium Hydroxide Plant is a key part of Neometals’ strategy to develop an integrated lithium business.

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  • Lithium Hydroxide Project Vendor Test Work Results

  • Quarterly Activities Report

    Progressed study with Mineral Resources for determining feasibility of producing 20,000tpa LCE Lithium Hydroxide in Eastern Goldfields of WA

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  • MOU for Downstream Lithium Processing Plant

    Neometals Ltd (ASX: NMT) and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further progress the development of a downstream lithium chemical plant in the Eastern Goldfields of WA.

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