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Avalon begins PEA for Thunder Bay lithium conversion facility

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL; OTCQB: AVLNF) announced that it has engaged DRA Americas, a 100% owned subsidiary of DRA Global to begin a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a lithium hydroxide conversion facility in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The project will be administered under Avalon’s wholly owned subsidiary Lake Superior Lithium. The PEA will consider feed sourcing of high-grade lithium concentrates from various sources.

The lithium conversion facility will feature the environmentally friendly Metso lithium conversion technology. This study will include lithium concentrate reagent receiving and storage, processing, and site infrastructure as well as shipping/handling of product and byproduct off site.

The Metso lithium conversion technology is being deployed globally with two currently under construction and expected to be operational from 2025. The Metso innovative technology is an acid-free lithium conversion approach that eliminates the use of hazardous reagents and produces a byproduct that is a mixture of sand and limestone. The byproduct material can be used in the production of construction materials.

In June of 2023, Avalon purchased “a crown jewel” brown field industrial site in the heart of Thunder Bay. The 100% owned site covers 155-ha and has direct access to all infrastructure needs including access to 80 to 100 MW of electrical power, natural gas, town water and sewer, rail and two on site rail spurs, road access near the Trans Canada Highway, and an open water port on the shore of Lake Superior.

The proposed production level of the facility would be based on similarly designed units and is anticipated to be in the order of 30,000 t/y lithium hydroxide (LiOH) production with an operating life of over 20 years. The facility would be designed to produce both lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate to address demand.

Avalon CEO Scott Monteith is pleased to see the PEA kick off. “The forecasted battery manufacturing capacity is expected to increase over the coming years as world EV and battery utilization becomes more mainstream. The decision to pursue production of battery grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate is driven by continued strength in lithium battery demand and North American supply chain needs for high quality product produced in North America.”

Avalon and its joint venture partner SCR-Sibelco NV is developing its Separation Rapids lithium deposit near Kenora, Ont., while also continuing to advance the Snowbank lithium and Lilypad lithium-cesium projects. The company is also working to develop its Nechalacho rare earths and zirconium project located in the Northwest Territories. This deposit contains critical minerals for use in advanced technologies in the communications and defense industries among other sectors.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More