Just one month after producing the first lithium carbonate at its Jiangsu plant, Galaxy Resources has sold the first seven tonne batch to a Chinese customer. The batch averaged 99.5% purity, making it technical grade lithium carbonate which exceeded the customer’s expectations of battery grade purity.
Galaxy says the product which generated the first revenue stream from the plant was also lower than expected in sodium, magnesium, iron and sulphate impurities. It was produced using spodumene concentrate from the company’s Mt Cattlin mine in Western Australia.
Galaxy managing director Iggy Tan says, “This first sale represents the first cash flow from the processing of Mt Cattlin concentrate into lithium carbonate at the Jiangsu operation and is another step forward with our business plan of developing Galaxy as a fully integrated lithium company.
“We continue to improve operations at Jiangsu to ensure the quality of the product reaches the highest grade specifications desired by the lithium-ion battery sector, although it was very satisfying that even in the early ramp-up phase we successfully produced 99.5% grade product. We continue to ramp up throughput and lithium carbonate production and remain on track to reach the 17,000 tonne per annum design capacity within 12 months.”
He says achieving battery grade level purity was a significant achievement, given the purification units installed to remove impurities were not used on this batch. They are expected to be brought on line in the next few weeks as part of the plant’s ramp up schedule.
Galaxy has achieved continuous lithium carbonate production and plant stability after achieving first production last month. All areas of the Aus$100 million plant in China’s Yangtze River International Chemical Industrial Park are performing well.
It is the first fully-automated lithium carbonate plant in China and one of the most highly sophisticated plants of its kind in the world. Galaxy has long term offtake framework agreements signed with 13 major cathode producers in China and Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan for 100% of Jiangsu’s annual 17,000 tonne design capacity.