Livista won't build one lithium refinery and sit back, says CEO

Livista Energy Europe told Mining Journal it intends to continue to scale up lithium processing in Europe, as it prepares to start the build of the first lithium refinery in Germany.

 Livista Energy Europe (Source: Livista)

Livista Energy Europe (Source: Livista)

Livista announced today that it will develop its 40,000 tpa (30,000 tpa of lithium-hydroxide and 10,000 tpa of lithium-Carbonate (LCE)),  with Technip Energies, who will deliver the front-end engineering and design (FEED) and DFS for the plant.

The plant, the first of its kind in Europe, will be capable of accepting all sources of raw lithium materials, including recycled lithium chemicals, as feedstock.

Under the scope of the FEED, Technip Energies will perform the engineering, early procurement activities, cost estimations and all permitting works required to build the first refinery, as well as early works for the plant expansion project on the same site location. In addition, the pre-FEED for the second plant will be performed in parallel based on the first plant design, thus increasing efficiencies and lowering overall costs.

"Livista does not intend to only build one plant and sit back," chief executive Daniel Bloor told Mining Journal

"The growth in the EV market requires huge quantities of battery grade or refined chemicals. We have chosen Germany as our first place to build for many reasons - including deep sea water port, access to green energy, support of the government and proximity to our downstream. We also believe that Germany offers a unique challenge to operate in where only the best is accepted, as such when we succeed here we can replicate best in class not only locally but internationally too," he added. 

Recycling key 

The company will have a mixed supply strategy which includes sourcing of both raw materials and lithium intermediaries from recycling. This includes straight contracts as well as joint venture discussions with the upstream producers or those which are soon to be producing.

"Interestingly several OEMs are also approaching us with ores they have sourced which need to be upgraded," Bloor said. "This is following a thorough dd process on the Livista flow sheet and technology."

"There are several really exciting recyclers developing in Europe," Bloor said.

"Some are the expected names, yet others are very left field but with very good technical knowledge and implementation of black mass separation. Typically, they are focused on the extraction of nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite and left with a lithium product that needs further refining to be useful again in batteries. We are working together with several to improve the quality of these products to incorporate them directly into our flow sheet," he explained.

"We have already proven the conversion to hydroxide at bench scale and look forward to incorporating into our supply with volumes expected to reach 12,000tpa of LCE from 2028." 

Investment in Ghanian miner

The company in February announced a partnership with, and then invested, in a Ghanaian upstream asset as well which is held by CAA Mining.

The agreement will see UK-based CAA explore for lithium at a number of projects in Ghana, including one alongside Atlantic Lithium's Ewoyaa site.

If successful, the lithium extracted at the sites would supply a Livista conversion facility in Takoradi in the south of the country, which will process the spodumene to an intermediary lithium chemical.

The company would then export the intermediary material to its European facility for further refining.


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