Cornish Lithium engages Ai Process Systems for hydrometallic works at TreLith demonstration plant

Cornish Lithium engages Ai Process Systems for hydrometallic works at TreLith demonstration plant

Posted by Daniel Gleeson on September 28, 2022

Cornish Lithium has announced that it has engaged Ai Process Systems Limited, one of the UK’s leading specialist process engineering consultancies, to provide detailed engineering, procurement, supply and manufacturing services, d installation and commissioning (EPCC) for the hydrometallurgical section of the demonstration scale processing plant at the company’s TreLith processing site associated with the Trelavour hard rock lithium project near St Austell, United Kingdom.

The hydrometallurgical section of the demonstration plant will use the patented Lepidico L-Max® and LOH-Max® processing technologies, for which Cornish Lithium holds an exclusive license to produce lithium hydroxide. These elements of the plant are partly funded by a £1.8 million ($1.92 million) grant from Innovate UK as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund’s Scale up Readiness Validation competition.

The plant is expected to produce commercial samples of lithium hydroxide for evaluation by end users, such as battery manufacturers and automotive OEMs. In addition, it will produce samples of by-products such as gypsum, potassium sulphate, cesium and rubidium sulphate alum. The company has already undertaken detailed metallurgical testing of these pilot-scale processes, but will now build a demonstration plant to validate the scale-up and commercial viability of the technology, he said.

Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and Founder of Cornish Lithium, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ai Process as one of the UK’s leading specialist process engineering consultancies. Our Trelavour project team has developed a strong relationship with the Ai Process team and we look forward to working with them to successfully deliver the demonstration plant.

“The demonstration plant will not only provide further validation of Lepidico’s processing technology, but will also provide key operational data to inform and enable construction of a commercial scale plant. This work will be key to developing a secure national supply of lithium from Cornwall to support the development of a resilient electric vehicle supply chain for the UK automotive industry.

Alan Parry, Managing Director of Ai Process, said: “It is a privilege to work with Cornish Lithium on such a prestigious engineering project, which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK. This type of lithium extraction process will be part of the next “industrial revolution” in the renewable energy sector and we are proud to work alongside a progressive company at the forefront of this new technology.

“The two companies have worked extremely hard together over the last year making this project possible, so we look forward to delivering a successful engineering facility for both our companies, from our base near Burnley in Lancashire, to the beautiful surroundings of Cornwall.”

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