Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) - Managing Director, Ken Brinsden
Managing Director, Ken Brinsden
Source: News Corp
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  • Pilbara Minerals (PLS) is teaming up with Australian tech company Calix (CXL) to develop a lithium chemicals refinery
  • Under a new memorandum of understanding, the parties will undertake a scoping study to assess a new refining process using Calix’s unique calcination technology, which will be used to create a concentrated lithium salt midstream product for lithium batteries
  • The study is expected to run until late 2021 and, if successful, Pilbara and Calix will then form a joint venture to build a demonstration facility
  • Ahead of market open, Pilbara Minerals is trading at $1.31 per share, while Calix’s shares are trading at $2.55 each

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) is teaming up with Australian tech company Calix (CXL) for the development of a lithium chemicals refinery.

Under a new memorandum of understanding, the parties will undertake a scoping study to assess a new refining process using Calix’s unique calcination technology, which will be used to create a concentrated lithium salt midstream product for lithium batteries.

Notably, Calix’s core technology involves a new type of kiln that is electrically heated and, therefore, can be powered by renewable energy.

Pilbara Minerals owns the Pilgangoora deposit, one of the world’s largest lithium resources. Currently, the ore is processed to produce a spodumene concentrate which is then shipped to customers overseas for use in lithium-ion batteries.

The scoping study will take fine, lower grade spodumene concentrate and further process it on site using renewable energy to create a low carbon, concentrated lithium salt.

The study is expected to run until late 2021 and, if successful, Pilbara and Calix will form a joint venture to build a demonstration facility.

Pilbara is expecting the facility to be capable of up to several thousand tonnes of lithium salt annual production capacity.

“Calix and Pilbara Minerals have conducted calcination trials of Pilgangoora spodumene in its electrically fired BATMn reactor, at Calix’s Bacchus Marsh facility, and it successfully demonstrated high conversion rates, zero dust emissions and avoided any partial melting concerns,” Pilbara Minerals Managing Director Ken Brinsden said.

“With these promising results, we will now move to a scoping study phase to investigate installing a calciner and downstream demonstration processing plant at Pilgangoora to allow the processing of fine, low grade ore to produce lithium salt material for export overseas,” he added.

Lithium-ion batteries are the dominant rechargeable battery storage of choice, particular for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and renewable grid storage.

Just before the market opens this morning, Pilbara Minerals is trading at $1.31 per share, while Calix’s shares are trading at $2.55 each.

PLS by the numbers
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