Proof of concept testing of lithium carbonate product from Galan Lithium’s (ASX: GLN) Hombre Muerto West project in Argentina has confirmed it as being of battery grade quality at 99.88% purity.
The minimum requirement to reach battery grade status is a purity of more than 99.5% lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
Galan managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega called the achievement a “fantastic result and team effort”.
“While this is early days, we are excited to demonstrate this first step as a proof of concept of high purity lithium carbonate while we still have room for improvement.”
“Importantly, from our studies, Galan’s high grade and low impurities brine has demonstrated that we can produce high purity lithium carbonate at a low cost,” he added.
Test work results
The first laboratory test work for producing lithium carbonate was undertaken in Antofagasta, Chile under the supervision of specialised consultants Ad-Infinitum.
The test feedstock was high-quality brine concentrate with more than 6% lithium contents that was obtained through evaporation testing recently carried out in Antofagasta.
According to Galan, this proof of concept test work also delivered great results for the removal of sulphate, boron, calcium and magnesium, which can be difficult contaminants to remove.
Ad-Infinitum identified other opportunities to improve results and Galan said it plans to adopt these in future test work activities at both laboratory and pilot plant levels in a bid to further improve the quality of the battery-grade lithium carbonate product.
This proof of concept milestone adds more flexibility to the adoption of a preferable processing design for the Hombre Muerto West project, where a feasibility study began in May.
“The study team is working on different alternatives to optimise the combined outcome for the pond design and lithium carbonate plant design,” the company stated.
“We keep learning with every test we do and will continue to do so in the future,” Mr Vargas de la Vega added.