28 November 2022

Construction of Keliber’s lithium project to begin

Keliber's long-planned Finland lithium project is beginning the construction phase, as preparatory work on the lithium hydroxide refinery will start before Christmas.

The refinery is to be built in Kokkola Industrial Park (KIP), and will produce lithium hydroxide, which is needed in electric vehicle batteries, among other uses.

Finnish ice roads
© Kristaps Grundsteins/Unsplash

The project is based on integrated production, in addition to the lithium hydroxide refinery, the project plan includes a concentrator plant approximately 66 kilometres away on the border of the municipalities of Kaustinen and Kronoby, and mining sites. Construction of the concentrator and the near-by Rapasaari mine are awaiting environmental permits.

Keliber’s lithium hydroxide production is based on soda leaching technology. Energy sources will be steam, natural gas and electricity, which contributes to Keliber’s relatively low CO2 emissions in comparison with current lithium hydroxide production chains. Circulated process water will account for about 80% of the refinery's total process water consumption. The side stream created in the process, analcime sand, can be used in construction, primarily in the expansion of the Kokkola harbour.