Canadian firm Frontier Lithium has announced plans to construct a demonstration concentrator plant at its PAK lithium project, which is located 175km north of Red Lake in northwestern Ontario.
The move comes as the company launched the first phase of its development plans for the PAK Lithium Project, an advanced exploration programme which aims to confirm the project’s economic viability.
The plant will have a capacity to produce up to 15,000t of lithium concentrate (spodumene) annually from a representative surface sample of the PAK deposit.
Containing up to 4.5% lithium oxide (Li2O), the PAK deposit will be processed through gravity, flotation and magnetic processes with spodumene concentrate ranging from 6 to 7.2% Li2O.
Frontier Lithium president and CEO Trevor Walker said: “Our deposit is located on the other side of the globe from the world-class operating Greenbushes’ deposit in Western Australia which has dominated global hard rock supply for years.
“The demonstration plant will enable us to reach out to customers and offer a high quality, reliable, long term and cost effective North American alternative.”
Frontier plans to start construction of the plant in the next 12-20 months after obtaining confirmation for related permits and financing.
The demonstration plant will produce technical grade concentrates (7.2% Li2O) for the expanding glass and ceramics markets and chemical grade concentrates (6% Li2O) for the lithium battery market.
Construction of the plant is aimed at validating and optimising the mining and milling technology and flow-sheet design prior to finalising the Phase II Commercial Production feasibility study.