Tag Archives: Veolia

Salt Lake Potash nears SOP production milestone at Lake Way

Salt Lake Potash Limited remains on track for first production and sale of sulphate of potash (SOP) in the June quarter after declaring the commencement of process plant commissioning at its Lake Way project in Western Australia.

In a project update, the company said first time potassium-rich harvest salts, precipitated from lake aquifer brine, have been fed into an SOP plant in Australia.

These harvest sales were successfully fed into the feed hopper, conveyed to the surge bin, run through the lump breaker, and then into the attritioning feed tank at the front end of the process plant. This front-end plant commissioning was powered by 2 MW diesel generators, which will continue to be used to progress the process in the near term.

Over the coming weeks the utilities, conversion circuit, flotation circuits, crystallisers and dryer will all be commissioned ahead of full load commissioning and SOP production in the June quarter, it said.

Consultants from the plant designer, Wood Group, as well as vendors Veolia and Broadbent (among others) will be assisting in the commissioning process.

In the meantime, gas supply lines and the delivery station for the 10 MW power station have been fully commissioned, with “power on” scheduled for late April to support final commissioning activities and production commencement.

Lake Way is a 245,000 t/y SOP development with an expected mine life of over 20 years. Located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia, it is expected to produce a high-quality SOP fertiliser with the help of Veolia Water Technologies’ HPD® crystallisation systems, among other processes.

Orocobre and Toyota greenlight Olaroz lithium expansion in Argentina

Project partners Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho Corp have approved the stage-two expansion of the Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina.

The expansion, set to cost $295 million including $25 million contingency, will increase the facility’s capacity by 25,000 t/y of lithium carbonate, bringing total capacity to 42,500 t/y.

It will also see Olaroz produce technical grade (>99% Li2CO3) lithium carbonate, part of which will be used as feedstock for the proposed Naraha lithium hydroxide plant to be built in Japan.

The stage-two expansion involves construction of evaporation ponds, roads and camp upgrades, all of which have already commenced. Commissioning of both the stage-two expansion and the Naraha plant are expected in the second half of 2020.

During the development of stage two, the stage one plant will progressively migrate to 100% battery-grade lithium carbonate production, Orocobre said. Upon achievement of full production rates, the product distribution, post stage two, is expected to be:

  • 17,500 t/y of battery-grade lithium carbonate;
  • 9,500 t/y of technical-grade carbonate as feedstock for 10,000 t/y battery-grade lithium hydroxide production at the Naraha plant
  • 15,500 t/y of technical-grade lithium carbonate.

The expansion will be funded by a combination of project debt, operation cashflows and shareholder loans, Orocobre said.

Negotiations on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the proposed Naraha hydroxide plant were advancing rapidly between Toyota Tsusho as operator and Veolia the preferred EPC contractor, Orocobre said.

“As previously advised, the EPC contract is expected to be finalised during this quarter,” the company said.

The Olaroz lithium facility is in Jujuy Province, northern Argentina. After seven years of planning, developing, construction and commissioning, the first sale of lithium carbonate from the facility occurred in late April 2015 and volumes have been increasing since that time.

Olaroz hosts a JORC/NI 43-101 compliant measured and indicated resource of 6.4 Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent and is capable of sustaining current continuous production for 40-plus years with only circa-15% of the defined resource extracted, the company says.