Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has generated its highest purity 99.95% lithium carbonate material to-date via its proprietary L-Max process at its Perth-based pilot plant.
According to the company, this compares favourably against many existing producers which create a 99.5% lithium carbonate.
Additionally, Lepidico’s lithium carbonate material contained lower impurities than other producers of the material.
The company has now started a test-work program to replicate similar purity levels in a lithium hydroxide it will develop using its proprietary LOH-Max method.
A LOH-Max circuit is under construction at the pilot plant, with batch production of crude lithium hydroxide scheduled for late this month.
Lepidico will then refine the crude product into a high purity lithium hydroxide next month and anticipates assays confirming the purity levels before the end of the year.
Building an integrated lithium chemical business
What sets Lepidico apart from traditional lithium chemical producers is the fact that it uses lepidolite as its feed source.
The company has an 80% stake in the Karibib lithium project in Namibia which encompasses more than 1,000 square kilometres of tenements prospective for lepidolite.
Lepidico also has an ore agreement over the Alvarroes lepidolite mine in Portugal, which currently supplies a 1.8% lithium concentrate to the ceramics industry.
The company’s strategy is to use lepidolite and other non-convention lithium sources including zinnwaldite to create battery chemicals using its proprietary L-Max and LOH-Max technologies.
A feasibility study is evaluating a 5,000tpa phase one plant to produce lithium hydroxide and other by-products using Lepidico’s technologies.
Lepidico is looking at establishing the plant in either Canada or Abu Dhabi.
In addition to the feasibility study, the company has established a pilot plant in Perth, where it is producing high purity lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide to ship to potential offtake parties for evaluation.