Pilbara Minerals and Ganfeng partner for 32ktpa lithium conversion plant

Pilbara Minerals and Ganfeng will partner for a lithium conversion plant.
Pilbara Minerals and Ganfeng will partner for a lithium conversion plant.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) and Ganfeng have signed a binding term sheet to complete a joint feasibility study on a downstream lithium conversion plant.

The feasibility study will consider a conversion plant that could produce around 32ktpa lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of lithium chemicals along with a potential intermediate lithium chemical product.

It will consider the operating costs, capital costs, fiscal incentives and overall economics of a potential lithium chemicals plant together with assessment of other factors including ESG, permitting timeline and supply chain logistics.

Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive Dale Henderson commented on the partnership.

“We are delighted to have selected our long-standing customer, Ganfeng, to join us in taking the next step towards a major downstream facility for lithium battery chemicals production,” he said.

“The feasibility study provides an important first step, enabling our two companies to combine our efforts in exploring a preferred location and optimal flowsheet for a downstream lithium chemicals facility which will maximise project economics whilst meeting agreed sustainability standards.”

The feasibility study will also assess production of a potential intermediate lithium chemicals product in Australia to reduce transportation volumes and carbon footprint.

Ganfeng president and vice chairman Wang Xiaoshen says the company is excited to be growing its relationship with Pilbara Minerals.

“This feasibility study marks an important step as we jointly pursue the best growth opportunities,” he said.

“We look forward to working with Pilbara Minerals to leverage our expertise in lithium chemical conversion to develop the investment case for a globally competitive lithium chemicals joint venture to service leading customers in the lithium-ion supply chain.”

The study is expected to be completed in the March quarter 2025 with the option to progress to a final investment decision and the formation of a joint venture following that.