Lithium (and its chemicals) has been a hot commodity over the last couple of years due to new applications of this metal in consumer electronics, smart grid storage, lithium ion batteries and electric battery powered vehicles. Lithium based chemicals are produced either from lithium brines or from lithium bearing minerals.
Lithium projects are not easy to develop and there are examples of project failures due to lack of knowledge and understanding of complexity in impurity removal or temporal component of grade and composition in brine deposits or chemistry issues in hard rock processing.
In this course we introduce participants to the basic concepts and operations involved in lithium processing including:
• An overview of the mineralogy and geology of lithium bearing ores and genesis and the impact this has on the processing plant.
• A comparison between hard rock lithium mining vs. harvesting lithium brines.
• The unit operations and equipment used in lithium processing (hard rock and brine).
• Typical flowsheets and their application to various lithium ores (coarse vs. fine particle separation).
• Metallurgical testwork required to characterise a lithium ore or brine.