Frontier Lithium Inc. has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with XPS Expert Process Solutions (a Glencore company) and Dr. Ahmad Ghahreman, a Queen’s University professor, to develop a process to refine spodumene concentrate into lithium hydroxide. The partnership reflects Frontier’s commitment to lay the foundation for a regional, vertically integrated battery ecosystem energizing Ontario’s drive to prosperity.
The joint project will be conducted in Canada and has commenced with a phase one bench-scale study that includes single stage dense media separation (DMS), flotation, pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. Phase one is evaluating the potential purity and recovery of lithium from concentrates to ultimately improve commercial understanding and provide data for generation of a continuous pilot process. The test work is expected to take six to eight months.
“Preliminary results show promise for being able to produce lithium hydroxide at a higher purity and at a lower cost compared to the industry average,” said XPS VP Dominic Fragomeni.
“Leveraging expertise through partnerships echoes Frontier’s approach to foster research and sustainable innovation.” said Trevor Walker, Frontier president and CEO. “This alliance will spearhead the production of high quality battery grade lithium products in Northern Ontario and help establish our region as a significant Canadian contributor to clean energy technology.”
Frontier Lithium owns the PAK lithium deposit 175 km north of Red Lake, Ont. The deposit is a lithium-cesium-tantalum type pegmatite containing high purity spodumene with less than 0.1% iron oxide. It is amenable to open pit mining.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)