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Infinity Lithium eyes battery supply market with Spanish project

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Australia-listed lithium developer Infinity Lithium has unveiled a scoping study for its San Jose project in Spain’s Extremadura region, including the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Infinity had previously released a lithium carbonate scoping study for San Jose, but said it was shifting the project’s focus towards lithium hydroxide.

“Electric vehicles continue to maintain the position of the major driver in lithium chemical demand, and the dominant position of nickel-rich lithium hydroxide-based cathodes used in the production of lithium-ion batteries has seen a shift in the project’s focus from a lithium carbonate towards a lithium hydroxide chemical output,” Infinity said.

Initial funding in the order of US$288.3 million will likely be required as start-up capital for the project, $343.9m over the life of the project.

The scoping study summarises the results of work completed over the past 28 months. The proposed development scenario outlined in the study is to mine lithium mica and treat this material using a sulphate roast and water leach process to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide on site. A production rate of around 15,000 tonnes per year (range of 12,100-15,120 tpa) of battery grade lithium chemicals has been chosen based on deposit and market optimisation.

Infinity is in a joint venture partnership with Valoriza Mineria to develop the San Jose/ Valdeflorez Lithium Tin Project— of which Infinity owns 50%. However, Infinity said while the study “has yielded robust outcomes and provided independent perspective on the opportunity to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide, there is no guarantee that the joint venture will choose to adopt the outcomes of the study”.

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