Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) has kicked-off definitive feasibility work on a 160,000 tonne per annum spodumene concentrator as part of its integrated mine to lithium-hydroxide business plans.
In collaboration, Primero Group and Marshall Miller and Associates will undertake the feasibility work.
Primero will work on the concentrator and infrastructure design, while being responsible for overall management of the study and Marshall Miller will lead the quarry design.
Earlier this year, Piedmont executed a memorandum of understanding with Primero to work together on project services including the feasibility study, EPC delivery, commissioning, ramp-up and contract operations for the concentrator.
Meanwhile, Piedmont has been collaborating with Marshall since 2018 regarding mine design, permitting activities and other engineering and mine services for Piedmont’s namesake lithium project in North Carolina’s Tin-Spodumene-Belt.
Piedmont president and chief executive officer Keith D Phillips said the company was “very pleased” to be commissioning the definitive feasibility study for its proposed spodumene concentrator and that both Primero and Marshall were recognised as “industry leaders”.
The study will evaluate production of 160,000tpa of spodumene concentrate as well as co-products including quartz and feldspar.
Piedmont plans to deliver the definitive feasibility study mid-next-year and will then pursue an investment decision “shortly thereafter”.
The company has already locked-in an agreement to supply electric vehicle heavy weight Tesla a third of its planned spodumene concentrate over five years.
Lithium chemical plans
In parallel with the mining and spodumene concentration plans, Piedmont is pushing ahead with its strategy to become the only integrated spodumene miner and lithium hydroxide producer outside of China to meet mounting US and European demand.
The company will begin a definitive feasibility study into its proposed 22,7000tpa lithium hydroxide chemical plant in the first quarter of next year.
Mr Phillips said the company will be positioned to begin construction in mid-2021 to meet anticipated “vast demand” for lithium hydroxide in 2022-2023.