Compass Minerals has announced the successful third-party conversion testing of its lithium brine resource into both lithium carbonate and battery-grade lithium hydroxide, representing a significant milestone in its previously announced lithium development project.
Veolia Energy conducted lithium chloride to lithium hydroxide conversion testing using a proven, commercially viable conversion process. The company believes this is the first known conversion to battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the sustainable lithium brine resource originating from Utah’s Great Salt Lake.
At a concentration of >56.5% lithium hydroxide monohydrate, the conversion sample meets established battery-grade specifications for the US EV and energy storage markets.
“When we first announced the identification of a readily available, 2.4-million-ton lithium brine resource, we emphasized that we are evaluating multiple paths forward for development, potential partnerships, and product selection,” said Compass Minerals CEO Kevin S. Crutchfield. “Our progress to date puts us firmly on track for market entry with a battery-grade lithium product by 2025.”
Compass is targeting an annual production capacity of approximately 20,000 to 25,000 metric tons lithium carbonate equivalent of battery-grade lithium. Up to 65% of the future production will be derived from brine that has already been extracted from the Great Salt Lake and is in varying stages of concentration within the company’s existing ponds at its active Ogden, Utah solar evaporation site.
Compass is currently undertaking a life-cycle assessment of various lithium development scenarios, together with sustainable mining specialist Minviro, to quantify any environmental impacts associated with the project and help identify opportunities to further minimize the project’s environmental footprint.