Lithium technology developer Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has generated 5.5 tonnes of lepidolite concentrate enabling the company to begin its first operating campaign next week at its Perth-based L-Max pilot plant.
Lepidico has now processed a 15t sample of lepidolite ore from the Alvarroes project in Portugal to produce the 5.5t concentrate grading 4% lithium.
The company has now prepared 1t of classified feed to process through the leach circuit of its pilot plant with the campaign due to kick-off next week and expected to run for four weeks.
Data from the campaign will be used to evaluate the plant and the material generated.
Lepidico plans to use the details to develop a plant remediation plan for optimal and sustainable operation going forward.
Additionally, Lepidico plans to incorporate the LOH-Max technology, which will see the plant transition to a demonstration facility capable of producing lithium chemical samples.
Lepidico has scheduled a second demonstration plant campaign for November this year.
A feasibility study is underway for Lepidico to develop a 5,000tpa plant in Sudbury, Canada that will produce lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide and other by-products from lepidolite ore using its proprietary L-Max and LOH-Max technologies.
Merger with Desert Lion
As part of Lepidico’s strategy to become a global leader in lithium chemical production from lepidolite, the company announced a merger with TSXV-listed Desert Lion last month.
Under the merger, 5.4 Lepidico shares will be issued for every one Desert Lion security held, with the merged entity to keep Lepidico’s name and Perth headquarters.
Lepidico raised $10.8 million in an entitlement offer to provide working capital for the merger, which is expected to be finalised by the end of July.
According to Lepidico, the merger will provide the companies with complementary assets and a platform to fast-track to free cash flow generation via a vertically integrated lepidolite mine and lithium chemical business.
Today’s news pushed Lepidico’s share price up more than 7% to reach $0.029 by early afternoon.