Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has generated what it claims is a high purity lithium hydroxide product comparable to the world’s major lithium chemical producers.
The 56.5% lithium hydroxide monohydrate was developed during a pilot plant batch trial using Lepidico’s proprietary LOH-Max process.
Additionally, impurities were below required levels and often under detection limits.
According to Lepidico, its 56.5% lithium hydroxide compares to major producers including Livent, Albemarle and Tianqi, which all create a 56.5% product.
LOH-Max pilot trial
The LOH-Max pilot trial followed the first campaign of the continuous L-Max pilot where lithium sulphate liquor was created and stockpiled.
This sulphate liquor was used as feedstock for the LOH-Max pilot, which was carried out via a series of large-scale batch operations that adhered to the flowsheet.
Via the process an initial crude lithium hydroxide is generated, which is then refined into the high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate product.
Optimisation testing was undertaken in parallel to the pilot, and a number of improvements were identified, which has resulted in modifications to the phase one plant design.
Lepidico noted that no “exotic materials of construction” were required for the process with all major equipment used sourced from the existing L-Max pilot plant.
Commenting on the achievement, Lepidico managing director Joe Walsh said generating a high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate with low impurities was a “clear endorsement” of the LOH-Max technology.
“In addition to being compatible with Lepidico’s L-Max process technology, LOH-Max also represents an alternative final process step in the conventional conversion of spodumene concentrates without the generation of costly and potentially problematic sodium sulphate.”
He added the company was now focused on generating samples of all products for evaluation by prospective customers.
Cashed-up to advance technologies
Late last month, Lepidico revealed it had secured a $7.5 million controlled placement agreement with Acuity Capital.
The agreement gives Lepidico up to $7.5 million of standby equity over 26 months.
Lepidico stated it would use the proceeds to fund future product research and development work as well as new process technology development.
The high purity lithium hydroxide news spurred Lepidico’s share price up 6.25% to $0.017 in early morning trade.