FLSmidth will complete a programme of work including engineering, supply of equipment and service to the Sales de Jujuy Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina, formalising a relationship that commenced in early 2020. The order, valued at around DKK 200 million, has been booked in 3Q21.
FLSmidth will also provide site services including installation supervision, commissioning and training. The new plant will increase output at the site, maintaining its position as a major lithium producer in Argentina. This new lithium extraction facility will provide technical-grade lithium carbonate which, with further purification, will be used to produce battery cathodes for the growing electric vehicle market. Toyota Tsusho Corporation owns 25% of the facility.
“Following our involvement in extensive process design at Olaroz, we are very excited Sales de Jujuy has entrusted FLSmidth to supply technologies for their new, world-class lithium extraction plant in Argentina. This order, in addition to the other lithium extraction orders announced earlier in 2021, confirms FLSmidth’s leading position as the technology provider of choice for all types of lithium deposits globally. It’s also satisfying to partner with a company that shares FLSmidth’s commitment to environmentally sound lithium production – a great match for our MissionZero ambitions,” commented Mikko Keto, Mining President, FLSmidth.
The technology provided by FLSmidth includes a clarifier, Pneumapress® filters, Shriver® filter press, OTG polishing filters and a pyromet dryer package. The technology package also includes other important equipment such as the reactors, ion exchange, pneumatic transport system and a bagging package. Equipment delivery will begin shortly and the contract will be complete by end of 2022, with the final trainings.
“FLSmidth is a world leader in environmentally sound lithium processing technologies. This aligns with Sales de Jujuy’s ambition to not only produce materials necessary for electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure, but to do so in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner through lowered emissions and significantly reduced water usage,” aded Fernando de la Calle, Engineering Project Director Olaroz.
The FLSmidth state-of-the-art equipment will deliver high availability and high productivity and mean low energy consumption and resource-efficient operations. The new plant is expected to produce 25 000 tpy of technical-grade lithium carbonate solutions that deliver efficiencies across industries. It allows for the storage of energy produced by solar, tidal and wind sources, aiding efforts to decarbonise the energy market. Supporting the lithium industry, therefore, is a good fit with the goals of FLSmidth’s MissionZero sustainability ambition.
A recent report from Fitch Solutions forecast global lithium production will more than triple from 442 000 t of lithium carbonate-equivalent (LCE) in 2020 to 1.5 million t of LCE by 2030. Having been involved in lithium extraction for 25 years, the evolving lithium extraction landscape has led to several recent projects for FLSmidth in Australia, Chile, Finland and the US.