FLSmidth and Sibanye-Finnish Stillwater’s subsidiary Keliber have struck a contract to provide pyro-processing equipment to the lithium hydroxide refinery in Kokkola, Finland.
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FLSmidth has entered into a contract with Sibanye-Stillwater subsidiary Keliber to supply pyro-processing technology to the Keliber project’s lithium hydroxide refinery in Kokkola. The deal is of significant strategic significance to both companies, and it builds on an existing partnership that includes testing and engineering for the Kokkola lithium hydroxide refinery.
FLSmidth is expected to provide an improved calcining system that will assist in important functions in the refinery’s overall processes. A two-stage cyclone preheater, a rotary kiln and an indirect rotary cooler, a natural gas-fired rotary kiln burner, and a comprehensive off-gas handling circuit are all part of the pyro-processing technology. The two-stage preheater rotary kiln is a cutting-edge method for enabling spodumene phase conversion for optimum lithium recovery while consuming the least amount of fuel.
The pyro-processing technology is one of our strategic focus areas in the efforts of reducing the energy consumption in mining and by that supporting a more sustainable path for the industry. European lithium mines and refineries are important to the green transition and electrification of the continent, and we are happy to be able to participate in this state-of-the-art project.
Mikko Keto, CEO, FLSmidth
Earlier, the Keliber project piloted FLSmidth’s technology with Keliber’s own spodumene concentrate.
“We have seen excellent test results, indicating that the FLSmidth technology has the potential to deliver the required output in an energy efficient way,” states Sami Heikkinen, Site Manager of the future Keliber lithium hydroxide refinery.
The refinery’s annual production is estimated to be 15,000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate, making it one of the first integrated facilities in Europe to generate battery-grade lithium hydroxide using its own ore.
The order’s value has not been revealed.