15.9.2017 | Company Announcement / Press release
Update on the Definitive Feasibility Study of Keliber’s lithium production project
Keliber (“the Company”) has taken the decision to supplement the work program for the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) before completing the report. The supplementary work will focus on three main areas:
- Additional process test work to reconfirm recent positive results in minerals processing tests
- Additional drilling to further increase of the resource base
- Trade-off study of location of the lithium carbonate plant between Kalavesi Kaustinen and Kokkola Industrial Park (“KIP”).
Process test work
The basic engineering of the lithium production plant has reached an advanced level. During the basic engineering, a test program was conducted by Metso's laboratory with a directly heated rotatory kiln for the thermal conversion of the spodumene concentrate. The test program proved successful with the conversion rate surpassing a target of 95%. In the leaching and crystallization tests carried out by Outotec, battery grade lithium carbonate (> 99.5%) was produced.
The supplementary test work will focus on mineral processing related to Rapasaari and optimization of the entire production process. Recent positive test work results indicate a potential for further optimization.
”We are pleased with the results of the test programs, but we have decided to further investigate the indicated potential for optimization. Recently tested new, and more representative ore samples from Rapasaari have given good results in minerals processing tests indicating a good opportunity to get more product out of the ore with lower production cost. As the DFS will be important for the financing of the project, we take the time to investigate further on this potential,” says Pertti Lamberg, CEO of Keliber Oy.
Further increase of the resource base
The drilling program in the areas of the Company’s biggest deposits, Rapasaari and Syväjärvi has continued during the summer and early autumn. After the publication of the updated mineral resource estimates in June 2017, more than 3,500 meters have been drilled. In the Rapasaari area, several 5 to 13 meters thick spodumene pegmatite veins have been intersected. In the area of Syväjärvi, the Company has been drilling the less studied parallel veins located under the known deposit. Several meters thick spodumene pegmatite veins have been intersected also in Syväjärvi. Drillings in the areas of Rapasaari and Syväjärvi will continue during the autumn and winter 2017 - 2018.
“Preliminary results from the ongoing drilling program are promising. We will continue the program over the winter, and we will include these results in our DFS report", says CEO Lamberg.
Possible location of the lithium carbonate plant in Kokkola
As part of the technical and financial review of the DFS, the Company has commenced a study for the alternative location for the lithium carbonate plant of the lithium process and decided to include the results to the DFS.
Lamberg states: ”We have decided to evaluate the possible location for the lithium carbonate plant between Kalavesi Kaustinen and the area of KIP Kokkola. We will include the result of this evaluation in the DFS report. The planning work to place the concentration plant for production of spodumene concentrate in Kaustinen continues.”
As a consequence of the expanded work program, the DFS is targeted for completion in the first half of 2018.
Keliber continues with other planning and preparations of the lithium project. Besides technical studies this includes preparations related to the investment phase financing as well as negotiations with potential clients to obtain end-product supply agreements. Additionally, the Company continues with the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and preparations for the environmental permits as planned.
Pertti Lamberg, CEO, Keliber Oy, tel. +358 50 599 1189
15.9.2017 / Keliber Oy