Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has announced plans to produce lithium carbonate samples using its proprietary L-Max technology from a newly established pilot plant in Western Australia, with the plant to be used as a demonstration facility for prospective offtake and finance partners.
The plant will have capacity to operate at 15kg per hour and will use similar equipment to that in the phase one L-Max plant design.
Additionally, major equipment will be sourced from the same proposed manufacturer as the phase one L-Max plant.
Lepidico said the decision to develop the plant in WA was based on feedback from prospective offtake and finance parties.
The Perth pilot plant is scheduled to come online at the same time as the phase one L-Max plant feasibility study winds up in the March quarter next year.
The phase one L-Max plant feasibility study is evaluating the viability of building a L-Max processing plant in Canada that is capable of producing 3,000 tonne per annum of lithium carbonate from alternative lithium minerals such as lepidolite.
According to Lepidico, the Perth-based pilot plant will enable prospective partners to carry out comprehensive due diligence from April next year.
As well as enabling prospective partners to undertake due diligence, the pilot plant will provide material for further product development work such as amorphous silica, SOP fertiliser, caesium brine and environmental remediation.
Lepidico anticipates the quantities it generates of these materials will enable it to enhance the quality and value of each.
Meanwhile, the lithium carbonate produced from the pilot plant will be sent to prospective customers.
Lepidico also expects the pilot plant will assist with optimising the phase one plant’s design and operation.
The capital cost for the plant has been estimated at $3 million, with an additional $1.5 million required to operate the facility.
Lepidico envisages the expenditures will be eligible for Australia’s 43.5% research and development tax offset.
By midday, Lepidico’s share price had risen 5% to $0.02.