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Millennial commissions lithium carbonate pilot plant at Pastos Grandes

Pastos Grandes project. (Image courtesy of Millennial Lithium).

Millennial Lithium (TSXV: ML) announced that the commissioning of a lithium carbonate pilot plant at its flagship Pastos Grandes project in Argentina is underway. 

In a press release, the Canadian miner said that the pilot plant, located adjacent to the Pastos Grandes salt flat, is a full flowsheet design for producing up to three tonnes per month of battery-grade lithium carbonate. 

The pilot plant is expected to produce up to three tonnes per month of battery-grade lithium carbonate

According to Millenial, pilot ponds filled with brine pumped from the central part of the  project and in operation since late 2018, are at the required concentration to provide lithium-rich brine concentrate to the pilot plant

“Despite covid-19 restrictions and minor delays, the Millennial team has advanced the lithium concentration ponds and the pilot plant to the production stage. Evaporation ponds have been concentrating lithium and plant feed,” Farhad Abasov, the company’s president and CEO, said in the media brief.

“The first stage of the plant, the Solvent Extraction (SX) unit to remove boron, has been installed and tested. The first output of battery-grade lithium carbonate is planned for Q4-2020 marking another significant milestone for the company.”

Abasov said that, at present, the pilot plant is being fed with concentrated lithium-rich brine from the smaller feeder ponds which had reached a grade of 2.7% Li, and expected to reach the target 3% Li with naturally reduced impurities by the time the full flow sheet is commissioned. 

Located in northwestern Argentina, Pastos Grandes covers over 12,619 hectares. To date, Millennial has invested more than C$40 million in exploration and development work on the property, which includes 22 completed exploration/monitoring wells, four pumping test production wells, pilot ponds, the pilot plant as well as a year-round camp supported by a hybrid solar power system.