Zinnwald Lithium plc and Metso have continued to make progress developing the beneficiation plant concept for the integrated Zinnwald lithium project near Dresden, Germany.
This project, which is situated in the heart of the European chemical and automotive industries, is designed to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH) to the battery sector.
Anton du Plessis, CEO of Zinnwald Lithium, said: “Achieving resilience and sustainability for the electric vehicle battery supply chain is essential, including in Europe where over 30 new gigafactories are planned by 2030.
“Our vision is to build a world-leading integrated lithium hydroxide operation to support this supply chain, adhering to the highest environmental standards. We are therefore delighted with the progress being made with Metso as we look to design the best possible particle sorting, otherwise known as the beneficiation process, for the plant.”
Metso was engaged to assist Zinnwald Lithium with its definitive feasibility study in early 2022. The two companies have since been working on developing a successful beneficiation process flowsheet based on a complete mineralogical study, batch and locked cycle tests. The design basis of the tests considers the mixture of two distinctive lithium ore types, Alibite Granite and Quartz Mica Greisen, potentially expanding the resource base considerably.
du Plessis said: “After the completion of the beneficiation pilot, we will start refinement of the calcination and hydrometallurgical flowsheet. We have partnered with Metso to develop and deliver this project as a ‘one-stop shop’ to reduce the need for engagement with multiple suppliers and to maximise in-house expertise in the design of the plant from run-of-mine to the battery-grade final product.”
Mikko Rantaharju, Vice President, Hydrometallurgy at Metso, added: “Metso is delighted to support Zinnwald Lithium with the development of this ambitious project. Development and supply of state-of-the-art, sustainable processes and equipment for the critical minerals required for the electric vehicle supply chain is an essential part of our minerals processing expertise.”
Metso provides sustainable technology and equipment for all ore types, including the critical minerals required for the energy transition, supported by its unique Planet Positive offering.
Metso says its solutions for battery minerals cover the entire lithium, nickel and cobalt production chain – from the mine to battery materials and black mass recycling – with project scopes ranging from equipment packages to plant deliveries. For high-end lithium-ion battery chemicals production, Metso’s expertise covers the extraction of lithium from various lithium sources up to battery-grade lithium salts.