Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has managed to generate a battery grade 99.8% pure lithium carbonate from Galaxy Resources’ (ASX: GXY) Mt Cattlin spodumene tailings using its proprietary L-Max technology.
The company sourced the tailings from Galaxy’s Mt Cattlin dense media separation plant to undertake metallurgical testing.
Hydrometallurgical batch tests were carried out on a tailings sample grading 2.7% lithium. Various batch tests were then done using the L-Max technology to eventually produce the 99.8% battery grade lithium carbonate.
“This test work program demonstrates conventional flotation coupled with Lepidico’s L-Max process technology can be used to produce battery grade lithium carbonate from modest lithium grade tailings sourced from primary spodumene operations,” Lepidico managing director Joe Walsh said.
“Furthermore, this work implies that L-Max can materially enhance the mineral resource potential and thereby value of mixed lithium mineral hard rock deposits that contain lithium micas,” Mr Walsh added.
Lepidico stated further optimisation work would be done on Mt Cattlin tailings to boost lithium recoveries and associated by-products. The work will also investigate ways to minimise acid and power consumption.
L-Max was developed unlock the value in treating non-conventional lithium sources including lepidolite and zinnwaldite.
In late December last year, Lepidico reported it had finalised the engineered design for its proposed L-Max lithium processing plant. A feasibility study into establishing the plant is due to wind up in the September quarter.
Under the plant’s proposed design, about 3.6 tonnes per hour of lithium mica concentrate will be fed through the plant, which will be constructed and operated in Canada.
The concentrate will produce up to 3,000tpa of lithium carbonate for the battery market.
The feasibility study is also evaluating the possibility of increasing the plant’s capacity to produce 6,000tpa of lithium carbonate under phase one.
According to Lepidico, its plant and technology could “disrupt” the lithium market by introducing commercially alternative lithium sources to spodumene.
By early afternoon trade, shares in Lepidico were 6% higher at $0.052.