Lithium-Boron Pilot Plants

WGA provided technical expertise and project management services to design and operate Pilot Plants to produce boric acid and lithium carbonate using prototype processing technology.

Combining WGA’s expertise in pilot plant design and management with their team of experienced operational metallurgists ensured a successful trial, meeting strict budget and schedule constraints as well as successfully confirming the operability of the flowsheet and confirming the understanding of the underlining chemistry.

WGA provided engineering services including preparation of the Project Execution Plan, detailed operational plan, cost, and schedules - and development of the flowsheet, PFD’s, P&ID’s, Control Philosophy and Safe Work Instructions (SWIs). Working on-site with an expert team of engineers, our personnel managed and performed construction, commissioning, operation, and modification of the pilot plant. In stage 1, we compiled the final report outlining the major findings, learnings, and recommendations.

 The client asked WGA back to provide services for the second phase of the pilot plant project. This included design and commissioning of three new unit operations, preparing SWI’s for the new unit operations and updating original ones. HAZOPs and risk assessments were completed for all new equipment. Training packages were developed and delivered onsite to new operators.

During operation, WGA personnel provided metallurgist support, supervised the metallurgy laboratory, and conducted experiments to collect; sizing data, settling properties, washing methods and crystal growth mechanisms to optimize plant conditions and provide data for full scale design. Sampling campaigns were managed and assessed to ensure sample sizes were representative.   

Laboratory data and SCADA data was collected and consolidated to provide daily reports and the METSIM model was used to create synthetic recipes. The data generated from the integrated and continuous pilot plants was used in the Prefeasibility Study and further supported the development of the overall project.

The primary purpose of the pilot plant was successfully achieved, demonstrating the operability of the processing flowsheet, and confirming the understanding of the underlining chemistry. The demonstration included all major unit operations of the full-scale flowsheet within its battery limits.


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