Infinity Lithium Corporation Limited (ASX:INF) has confirmed the incorporation of Infinity GreenTech Pty Ltd and the lodgement of provisional patent applications for a sustainable and novel lithium hydrometallurgical conversion processes.
Infinity GreenTech anticipates the lodgement of corresponding international PCT applications within twelve months of filing the provisional patent applications. Infinity GreenTech will initially focus on the further development and commercialisation of these sustainable and low carbon footprint lithium hard rock processing technologies that provides for a radical departure from traditional process routes.
Infinity GreenTech will seek to minimise environmental impact of all process development through direct alignment to green energies and recirculation of key inputs.
The results of a comprehensive review of potential alternative extractive technologies for San José Lithium Project identified candidate alternative technologies with significant technical, financial and environmental potential benefits warranting further investigation and demonstration through appropriate laboratory test work.
This work confirmed the technical feasibility and likely cost and other benefits of these candidate technologies. Infinity Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Chairman Jon Starink and TAC expert Dr David Maree have overseen the successful completion of phase 1 test work and process flowsheet development.
The encouraging first stages of test work have been successful and the opportunity to implement this novel process promises significant technical and environmental benefits,” Mr Starink said.
“With the potential for a real reduction in capital intensity and operating costs, there may be opportunities to unlock lithium deposits that were previously unviable or not of sufficient scale for integrated downstream projects.”
Infinity CEO and Managing Director, Ryan Parkin, said the results of the progression of these technical validations could provide an alternative and major opportunity for Infinity to provide an option to significantly improve the economic and environmental profile of San José’, whilst enabling Infinity to apply its new generation GreenTech technology for the conversion of multiple sources of lithium bearing materials to produce a sustainable and cost-effective battery grade end product.
The simplified and sustainable lithium conversion process will endeavour to utilise renewable energies in the conversion of lithium raw materials to lithium chemicals. Comparatively short processing residence times results in minimised energy inputs, whilst the readily available, non-toxic reagents are low cost and recyclable.
The processing route has significant environmental benefits including less waste, significantly reduced emissions and a minimised CO2 footprint. The rapid production of both battery grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide end products is achieved with a significant reduction in process complexity, thus a reduction in capital intensity.
Early bench scale test work results confirmed recoverability of lithium in solution from Run-Of-Mine (ROM) feedstock between 60% to 70% lithium from open-circuit direct processing of ROM without optimisation.
Significantly higher recovery of lithium may reasonably be anticipated once process conditions are optimised.
Whilst beneficiation test work has been completed, the initial results for the novel technologies based on ROM feedstock highlights an opportunity to forgo the beneficiation stage for some lithium chemical conversion projects including San José Infinity GreenTech is also assessing opportunities to recover potentially valuable potassium and sodium-containing by-products in the next stages of test work. Locked-cycle test work (‘LCT’) is expected to commence in late November 2021.
Infinity Greentech has commenced the preparation of budgets and schedules for the construction of appropriate laboratory and pilot plant facilities for the further development of these progressive technologies. There are multiple options being evaluated for the development of these facilities with the progression of pilot plant design and layout engineering and the design and sourcing of long lead items prioritised.