Results show that spodumene concentrate at 6.2% lithium oxide can be produced that can be readily converted to battery grade lithium carbonate.
Additionally, high-quality feldspar and quartz concentrates with low iron content can be produced for the European glass and ceramic industry.
Steve Kesler, CEO, commented: “This is another major step in the development of the Wolfsberg project demonstrating that the project has the potential to be a significant part of an integrated lithium supply chain for the coming lithium battery plants of Europe.
“The production of high-quality feldspar and quartz for the European glass and ceramic industry will provide valuable by-product credits.”
A leading German independent consultant in lithium and industrial mineral conducted the testwork program to optimise the process design for Wolfsberg.
The work was undertaken on 4 tonne samples of each of the ore types – amphibolite hosted pegmatite (AHP) and mica schist hosted pegmatite (MHP).
The mining and processing of Wolfsberg ore will be considerably simplified by producing only a flotation concentrate.
The consultant expects that eliminating the dense media separation (DMS) step and treating both ore types by flotation will still result in the same flotation recovery of 85% estimated from a continuous operation.
This needs to be confirmed by further testwork.
The 100% owned Wolfsberg project has a JORC resource estimate of 6.3 million tonnes at 1.17% lithium oxide.
Recent study results supported an economical mining operation at Wolfsberg with an estimated preliminary pre-tax net present value (NPV) of US$94.8 million.
Surface sampling of pegmatite boulders and limited scout drilling in 2012 at Zone 2 demonstrated the presence of lithium bearing pegmatites.
It is believed that Zone 2 has the potential to mirror the current JORC resource of the northern limb.
During June 2017, European Lithium received results from the surface drilling program in Zone 2 that showed wide intersections of spodumene rich pegmatite for which assays are pending.
While this opens to door to further resource growth, the company’s strategy remains focused on fast tracking a lithium mining operation at Wolfsberg.