Lithium explorer Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has unveiled a maiden resource for its Alvarroes lepidolite project in Portugal.
The inaugural JORC-compliant inferred resource is 1.5 million tonnes grading 1.1% lithium, which includes 1.1mt grading 1.1% lithium over 400m of strike at blocks one and two.
The resource was calculated from broadly spaced 17 diamond core holes that were drilled across the project between May and September this year.
According to Lepidico, a preliminary mining study for Alvarroes reveals blocks one and two could potentially provide enough feed for the proposed phase one L-Max processing plant for at least 10 years.
Drilling at the project has shown the lepidolite pegmatite mineralisation at Alvarroes is extensive and the company is hoping to achieve up to 5mt grading 1.5% lithium with 30% lepidolite. However, at this stage, the resource estimate is purely conceptual.
Lepidico is planning a reverse circulation and diamond core drilling program to boost its data and test to the north and west of the known mineralisation.
The company’s strategy is to develop a multi-deposit inventory of lithium mica to use as feedstock for the L-Max plant which will be situated in Canada’s Sudbury district.
Lepidico has created its own technology to produce battery-ready lithium carbonate from “non-conventional” sources including lepidolite and zinnwaldite.
According to Lepidico, its L-Max processing technology has the potential to “disrupt” the lithium market by supply lithium from alternate sources.
Lepidico is conducting a feasibility study into the L-Max plant, with first production anticipated in 2019.
To feed the plant, Lepidico has been exploring Alvarroes, and has farm-in agreements for the Moriarty lithium project and PEG 9 lepidolite prospect in Western Australia.
Additionally, Lepidico has a letter of intent with TSX-listed Avalon Advanced Materials, where Avalon will supply lithium mica from its Separation Rapids project in Ontario, Canada.
Shares in Lepidico were up more than 13% at A$0.06 in mid-morning trade.