19 September 2023
by Alex Brinded

High-purity lithium carbonate produced in North of England

Battery-grade lithium carbonate at a purity above 99.5% have been produced from Northern Lithium saline brine in the UK.

© Saif71 / unsplash

Two kilogrammes of the lithium carbonate have been produced by Cheshire-based membrane specialists, Evove, using saline brines extracted by Durham-based mineral exploration company Northern Lithium.

The two companies are trialling their partnership with plans to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from saline brines at industrial scale.

Saline brines were extracted from Northern Pennine Orefield, in the northeast of England, before being processed at a specialist pilot plant in Widnes, northwest England, using a method of Direct Lithium Extraction.

Northern Lithium say it is forecast that the UK will need up to 80,000t of lithium carbonate equivalent p.a. by 2030, and 135,000t p.a. by 2040.

'The quality and quantity of lithium carbonate that has been produced at industrial scale is incredibly exciting,' comments Nick Pople, Northern Lithium Managing Director. 'Our goal is to reach commercial production of between 5,000-10,000t of battery-grade lithium per year from several production areas across the Northern Pennine Orefield over the next decade.'

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Alex Brinded

Staff Writer