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Finland gov't grants Sibanye-backed Keliber $7.9 million for clean lithium production

Kitco News

Lithium-focused Keliber Oy was granted EUR 7 million (US$7.9 million) by Business Finland for clean lithium production, the company announced last week.

The funds are to be used for " that significantly improves environmental protection in lithium hydroxide production and also enables the utilisation of a side stream from production."

Keliber said it plans to build a lithium chemical plant in Kokkola Industrial Park. The production process will be based on soda leaching technology.

"In comparison with an alternative production process, soda leaching saves energy and promotes the circular economy," said the company in a news release. "The production process will result in analcime sand as a side stream and it is planned to use this in the extension work at the Port of Kokkola. Some of Business Finland’s funding has been earmarked for the acquisition of equipment for handling the analcime sand."

Sibanye-Stillwater owns over a quarter of Keliber.

In September Keliber announced that its estimated proved and probable ore reserves at its Rapasaari deposit totalled 8.21 million tonnes, up 55% from the previous estimate, at an average lithium oxide (Li2O) grade of 0.89.

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