Canada’s Avalon Advanced Materials will look to Metso to help it design and build a lithium processing facility at Thunder Bay, Ontario, after signing a memorandum of understanding with the equipment manufacturer.
The companies expect to formalise their strategic partnership arrangement by the start of September.
“Metso’s platform and technological solutions perfectly complement Avalon’s vision to complete an integrated lithium value chain in Ontario, predicated on innovative process solutions,” Avalon president Zeeshan Syed said.
“We view Metso as an integral part of this rapidly growing sector, and a foundational partner in developing internationally best-in-class processing capabilities that are environmentally sustainable, allowing Avalon to meet the soaring demand for battery-grade lithium.”
Avalon wants to build a lithium hydroxide plant in Thunder Bay, potentially drawing on resources at Separation Rapids near Kenora, Ontario, where the company has outlined a measured and indicated resource of 8.41 million tonnes grading an average 1.41% lithium oxide. A basic mine schedule has 475,000 tonnes per annum of petalite and lepidolite mineralised material producing circa 220,000tpa of lepidolite concentrate, 1.32 million tonnes per annum of petalite and 1.34Mtpa over 19 years.
Avalon has a current market value of about C$94 million.