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Metso and Zinnwald Lithium have progressed the development of a beneficiation plant concept for the Zinnwald lithium project near Dresden, Germany.

The project is designed to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to the battery sector.

“Achieving resilience and sustainability for the electric vehicle battery supply chain is essential, including in Europe where over 30 new gigafactories are planned by 2030,” Zinnwald Lithium chief executive officer Anton du Plessis said.

“Our vision is to build a world-leading integrated lithium hydroxide operation to support this supply chain, adhering to the highest environmental standards.

“We are therefore delighted with the progress being made with Metso as we look to design the best possible particle sorting, otherwise known as the beneficiation process, for the plant.”

Metso was engaged to assist Zinnwald Lithium with its definitive feasibility study in early 2022.

The two companies have since been working on developing a beneficiation process flowsheet based on a complete mineralogical study, batch, and locked cycle tests.

The design basis of the tests considers the mixture of two distinctive lithium ore types, Alibite Granite and Quartz Mica Greisen, with the potential of expanding the resource base.

“After the completion of the beneficiation pilot, we will start refinement of the calcination and hydrometallurgical flowsheet,” du Plessis said.

“We have partnered with Metso to develop and deliver this project as a “one-stop shop” to reduce the need for engagement with multiple suppliers and to maximize in-house expertise in the design of the plant from run-of-mine to the battery-grade final product.”

Metso hydrometallurgy vice president Mikko Rantaharju said the company is delighted to support Zinnwald Lithium with the development of the ambitious project.

“Development and supply of state-of-the-art, sustainable processes and equipment for the critical minerals required for the electric vehicle supply chain is an essential part of our minerals processing expertise.”