Tag Archives: crystallisation

ioneer contracts Veolia Water Technologies for Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project

ioneer Ltd has awarded a major engineering and equipment supply contract to Veolia Water Technologies Inc for the development of the company’s wholly-owned Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA.

Veolia has commenced work on final detailed engineering design of the equipment package, which includes evaporation, crystallisation and dewatering equipment. It is the largest single supply contract that ioneer will award as part of the Rhyolite Ridge build, the company said.

The contract has been awarded on a limited notice to proceed basis. Phase one, the supply of engineering services for detailed design, has commenced while phase two, the supply of equipment, is conditional on a final investment decision on the project by ioneer’s Board of Directors.

The lithium and boron resource at Rhyolite Ridge is estimated at 146.5 Mt, including a reserve of 60 Mt. The company expects to mine and process 63.8 Mt over the 26-year mine life at an average annual rate of 2.5 Mt/y.

Veolia is, ioneer says, a world leader in the design and delivery of systems for purification, recovery and drying of inorganic chemicals using HPD® evaporation and crystallisation technologies. Furthermore, Veolia provides state-of-the-art research and development capabilities to facilitate the understanding of multi-component systems and their optimisation for efficiency, operability and final product quality.

Veolia and ioneer have been working together since 2018 to demonstrate the feasibility of the process design, including design and operation of ioneer’s full simulation pilot plant in Vancouver, British Columbia. Veolia has also conducted laboratory testing and simulated key unit operations including clarification, ion exchange purification, evaporation, crystallisation and precipitation at Veolia’s Phillip J Stewart Technology Center in Plainfield, Illinois, including the production of high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate. The results obtained from this work further confirmed the design parameters, reduced the technical risks and boosted the project economics, according to ioneer.

ioneer Managing Director, Bernard Rowe, said: “We have been working closely with Veolia over the past three years during the pilot plant and definitive feasibility study phases and have developed a strong relationship and mutual respect. Veolia is a recognised leader in process design and engineering, with direct experience in developing solutions for lithium processing facilities. Veolia’s experience and capabilities are important to meet required purity standards in our production facilities.”

CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas, Jim Brown, said: “Veolia, as the leader in ecological transformation, is excited to be part of ioneer’s commitment to providing the materials necessary to further develop renewable energy and clean technologies by utilising our industry experience and state-of-the-art research facility to develop this resource. Our long-term cooperation working together with ioneer has been instrumental in bringing the project to this point.”

Gensource signs up K-UTEC, Koeppern and Ebner for Tugaske potash project

Gensource says it has engaged a consortium of world-class potash process design and equipment fabrication companies to work together to provide a design-supply-commission package for the entire process plant at the Tugaske potash project, in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The kick-off of engineering work for the major process equipment package is another milestone for the project, the fertiliser development company said.

Gensource previously announced advances in the development and financing of the Tugaske project, with KfW IPEX-Bank and Société Générale, joint lead arrangers for the project debt, nearing completion of their due diligence process.

The total senior debt financing for the project is expected to be supported by export insurance coverage with the German Export Credit Agency (ECA), Euler Hermes.

To satisfy a significant portion of the German export requirement, Gensource has elected to work with a consortium of three German-based design and equipment fabrication companies, namely: K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies, Koeppern GmbH & Co KG and Ebner GmbH & Co KG.

“Individually, these companies represent world-class capabilities in their specific areas of expertise, whether in the design of potash and salt processing plants or the design and fabrication of equipment,” Gensource said.

Together, the three companies known as KKE have the capability to supply the entire main process plant in a single design-supply-commission package, the company said.

K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies will look at the physical chemistry, overall process development and engineering, including practical bench scale testing, for the project; Koeppern will be engaged for drying, compaction, and screening process design and compaction equipment design and manufacture; and Ebner (tour of Ebner fabrication facility in Eiterfeld, Germany, pictured below) will be in charge of cooling crystallisation process design and crystallisation equipment design and manufacture.

“Based on the combined experience and capabilities of KKE, Gensource saw an opportunity to not only work with these top-tier companies and have this work qualify for ECA coverage, but also to simplify the number of project interfaces by packaging the entire process plant into a single design-supply-commission contract package,” Gensource said.

“Together, these companies provide a complete solution: from receiving the raw brine from the solution mining wellfield all the way through to a final potash product, meeting the off-taker’s specifications, ready for storage and shipping.”

Additionally, by packaging the entire process plant into one export contract, Gensource says it de-risks the project through obtaining a process guarantee from KKE for product quality and process plant throughput.

To advance the scope on this process plant package, Gensource has initiated the first phase of engineering with KKE, which will start the detailed process and equipment design, leading to the fabrication and ordering of key equipment for the process plant.

Advancing the scope of this package supports a development timeline that targets production from the Tugaske project in late 2022, supplying product to Tugaske’s off-taker and future equity partner, Helm Fertilizers.

The efforts of the KKE group will be integrated into the project by Gensource’s key project delivery partners: Engcomp Engineering & Computing Professionals, the lead engineering and design consultant for the project; and South East Construction (SEC), the general construction contractor for the project, it said.

“Together, Gensource, Engcomp, and SEC are acting as an integrated team, responsible for the overall execution and delivery of the project,” Gensource said, explaining that both Engcomp and SEC were seasoned engineering and construction professionals in the Saskatchewan potash industry.

Mike Ferguson, President & CEO of Gensource, said: “The three companies of the KKE group have unrivalled global experience in the potash and salt industries and bring their tremendous know-how, experience and proven track record of success to our project.

“Together with Gensource, Engcomp, and SEC, KKE rounds out the world-class potash team that we have established, which will no doubt deliver a world-class sustainable potash production facility in Saskatchewan via the Tugaske project.”

Like other Gensource module designs, the Tugaske project will produce a minimum of 250,000 t/y of saleable muriate of potash product.