Pilbara Minerals share price higher on 'game changer' project with Calix

This lithium miner has announced a new joint venture…

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The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price is edging higher on Monday morning.

At the time of writing, the lithium miner's shares are up 1.5% to $4.54.

Why is the Pilbara Minerals share price rising?

Today's gain appears to have been driven by the announcement of a joint venture with clean technology company Calix Ltd (ASX: CXL).

According to the release, Pilbara Minerals and Calix have executed a joint venture agreement for the development of a mid-stream demonstration plant at the Pilgangoora Project.

The demonstration plant has the aim of producing lithium salts via an "innovative midstream value added refining process" that utilises Calix's patented calcination technology.

Furthermore, the company notes that the objective of demonstration plant project is to deliver a superior value-added lithium product enabling lower product cost, reduced carbon energy intensity, and reduction of waste product logistics.

Pilbara Minerals will own 55% of the joint venture, with Calix owning the balance. Each party will be funding their share of operating and capital costs and Calix will license their patented technology and calcination knowhow into the joint venture.

Management also highlights that a successful demonstration of the calcination technology via the demonstration plant may then lead to its commercialisation with the joint venture licensing the technology to the global spodumene processing industry.

'A game changer'

Pilbara Minerals' managing director and CEO, Dale Henderson, commented:

It's a great privilege to enter this JV partnership with Calix. The Mid-stream project has the potential to be a game changer for our industry. If successful, we will be able to deliver a superior chemical intermediary product to market compared to spodumene concentrate.

This intermediate product offers a higher concentration in lithium and less impurities whilst being produced through a new process that reduces CO2 emissions compared to the traditional process route for hard rock spodumene chemical conversion. This is world-first Australian technology, being developed by two great Australian companies on Australian soil, with the support of the Australian Government – this is an exceptional opportunity for all of us.

Interestingly, unlike the Pilbara Minerals share price, the Calix share price is trading lower on the news.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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