Standard Lithium commissioning lithium carbonate crystallization plant

Brine sampling in Q3 2018 at the Smackover lithium project in Arkansas. Source: Standard Lithium Ltd.

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Standard Lithium Ltd. [SLL-TSXV; STLHF-OTCQX; S5L-FSE], an innovative technology and lithium development company, reports that it has completed the construction of its industrial-scale lithium carbonate crystallization pilot plant and has now started the commissioning phase.

The crystallization plant is designed to take the intermediate product made by the company’s LiSTR direct lithium extraction process (a high purity, concentrated lithium chloride solution) and convert it into a battery-quality (or better) lithium chemical as used by manufacturers in the lithium ion battery supply chain. The LiSTR plant recently started 24/7 operation at the project site in El Dorado, Arkansas.

The lithium carbonate crystallization plant has been designed around the company’s proprietary ‘SiFT’ crystallisation technology, which was recently demonstrated to produce >99.9% purity (also known as ‘three-nines’) battery-quality lithium carbonate. The crystallization plant has been constructed by Saltworks Technologies Inc. at their facility in the Greater Vancouver area.

Initial commissioning of the SiFT plant has already begun, and so far, it has been hydraulically tested for integrity and all systems have been energized.

Commissioning of the fully-automated control system is ongoing and is expected to be completed within 10 days. Following this, lithium chloride solutions previously produced by Standard Lithium will be used to continue the commissioning process and produce the first samples of lithium carbonate.

Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium, commented “Saltworks has done a fantastic job delivering this state-of-the-art lithium carbonate crystallization plant, especially given the recent complications related to COVID-19. Our plan over the coming months has necessarily been adapted to fit the current trans-border situation between Canada and the USA. As we are able to freely transport large volumes of lithium chloride product from our operational demo plant in Arkansas up to Vancouver, once commissioning is completed we will initially test and run the SiFT plant using this feedstock, thus demonstrating the total lithium extraction and crystallization flowsheet that we have developed. Once trans-border movement of staff and equipment is relaxed, hopefully in the not too distant future, then we will transport the modules and integrate this SiFT Crystallization Plant in to our 24/7 operations in Arkansas.”

Standard Lithium’s flagship project is located in southern Arkansas where it is engaged in the testing and proving of the commercial viability of lithium extraction from over 150,000 acres of permitted brine operations. The company has commissioned its first of a kind industrial scale Direct Lithium Extraction Demonstration Plant at LANXESS’ South Plant facility in southern Arkansas. The Demonstration Plant utilizes the company’s proprietary LiSTR technology to selectively extract lithium from LANXESS’ tailbrine.

The Demonstration Plant is being used for proof of concept and commercial feasibility studies. The scalable, environmentally friendly process eliminates the use of evaporation ponds, reduces processing time from months to hours and greatly increases the effective recovery of lithium. The company is also pursuing the resource development of over 30,000 acres of separate brine leases located in southwestern Arkansas and approximately 45,000 acres of mineral leases located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California.

In early morning trading on June 10, shares of Standard Lithium continued their upward climb, gaining $0.13 to $1.33, or 10.8%, on a volume of 193,300 shares traded.

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