Significantly, the Lepidolite Hill lithium deposit, which Lithium Australia has an 80% share in, is emerging as a potentially valuable feed option.
Encouraging results from ore sorting test work done on historical mine waste at Lepidolite Hill support this location as a possible feed option for the pilot plant.
Capitalising on various types of mine waste to deliver value-added products
Applying rejected material from Lepidolite Hill to innovative ore-sorting technology perfectly illustrates how Lithium Australia intends to produce SiLeach® feed from mine waste.
Adrian Griffin, managing director, said: “Lithium Australia is striving to improve the sustainability of the energy-metal sector.
“Recovery of lithium from mine waste is a great example of that, and we are strongly focused on opportunities in both Europe and Western Australia.”
READ: Lithium Australia NL secures $18 mln to develop Sileach® pilot plant and battery cathode plant
The ore-sorting tests indicate the possibility of rejecting a large proportion of the waste material.
Next, the material newly recovered by ore sorting will now be assayed.
The assessment of pilot plant feed continues with further, similar lepidolite occurrences in Western Australia also under investigation.
Commercialising the SiLeach processing technology
The company’s SiLeach® processing technology is in the process of being commercialised through the large-scale SiLeach® pilot plant.
The technology efficiently digests and recovers all significant metal values from the minerals treated and can be applied to a wide range of lithium feedstock.
In the first instance, Lithium Australia aims to recover lithium from silicates with low energy consumption and high metal recoveries.
Recent acquisition provides exposure to lithium-ion battery cathodes
The recent acquisition of Very Small Particle Company (VSPC) provides access to the most advanced cathode-powder production technology.
Potentially, this technology gives Lithium Australia the benefit of the most significant value-adding step in the lithium-ion battery production process.
By applying the VSPC technology, Lithium Australia has the opportunity to control the supply chain from waste material through to cathode powder.