Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), an Australian lithium producer, and Calix (ASX:CXL), an Australian environmental technology company, have released an update on the development of their joint venture mid-stream demonstration plant. The plant, aimed at showcasing the calcination technology for spodumene processing, has made significant progress in the detailed front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase. The final investment decision (FID) for the project is expected to be presented to the boards of both companies for approval in the near future.
To ensure the project’s uninterrupted development, the JV partners have agreed to bring forward certain project expenditure that was initially planned for post-FID. The studies supporting the FID are in an advanced stage, with a decision anticipated by the end of July. The joint venture is supported by $20 million in funding from the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), with an initial payment of $8 million already received.
The successful demonstration of the mid-stream process could lead to the construction of a commercial-scale plant as part of Pilbara Minerals’ mid-stream strategy. Furthermore, the JV aims to commercialise the calcination technology by licensing it to the global spodumene processing industry.
Dale Henderson, Managing Director of Pilbara Minerals, expressed optimism about the project, stating, “We remain committed to finalising the studies and progressing towards the FID, leveraging the support of the Australian Government and the expertise of Calix to advance our mid-stream strategy.”
Phil Hodgson, Managing Director and CEO of Calix, added, “The mid-stream demonstration plant is a significant step forward in the commercialisation of our calcination technology and contributes to our goal of delivering sustainable solutions for global industrial decarbonisation.”
The joint venture between Pilbara Minerals and Calix aims to advance the lithium processing sector and support the transition towards a more sustainable future.