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A patented process produces battery-grade lithium

By Paul Grad |

Lithium producer Galaxy Resources Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia; www.galaxylithium.com) says that lithium carbonate product from its wholly owned Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate Plant has achieved battery grade quality using the company’s patented process (flowsheet). The Jiangsu plant is located in the Yangtze River International Chemical Industrial Park of the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in China’s Jiangsu Province. It has a production capacity of 17,000 ton/yr of lithium carbonate and the capability of producing high-purity (99.9%) electric-vehicle-grade lithium carbonate. The lithium originates from Galaxy’s Mt. Cattlin mine at Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. Galaxy mines lithium pegmatite ore and processes it onsite to produce spodumene concentrate and tantalum byproduct. According to the company, the latest testing at Jiangsu showed that sodium levels have dropped from 117 ppm to 20 ppm (battery specification is less than 250 ppm). For lithium cathode and lithium-ion battery (LIB) makers, sodium is one of most troublesome impurities, causing oxidation and gassing in the final product. Excessive sodium levels can also cause reduction in charging and discharging capacity in lithium-ion batteries, as well as reducing…
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