Earlier this week, the ASX200 lithium miner Galaxy outlined its intention to take a direct 12% stake in Lepidico.
Lepidico developed the L-Max® metallurgical process that produces lithium carbonate from nonconventional sources such as mica.
The move boosts Lithium Australia’s leverage to the upside in Australian and global lithium processing research and development as it holds the rights to three L-Max® licences.
Adrian Griffin, managing director, commented
“The investment by Galaxy into Lepidico, which is progressing the commercialisation of LMax®, is to be applauded as is Lepidico's long overdue move to fund finalisation of feasibility studies into an L-Max pilot plant.
“Lithium Australia will benefit from any improvements made to the L-Max process under its agreement with Lepidico.
“Lithium Australia holds an exclusive right to utilize L-Max® in Western Australia.
“The Galaxy investment highlights the need for processing solutions for alternative lithium supply sources.
“There may be synergies and opportunities in Lithium Australia providing a processing route inside Western Australia for Galaxy’s surplus mica material at Mt Cattlin to ensure an economic outcome for current waste material.”
Why this benefits Lithium Australia
Lithium Australia holds the rights to three L-Max® licences.
One of these L-Max® licences is for use in Western Australia which is an exclusive right to use Lepidico’s L-Max technology until July 2020, which right will be extended for a further 20 years if Lithium Australian commits to build an L-Max plant anywhere in the world during the initial period.
Western Australia is the world’s largest single source of hard rock lithium supply.
This gives Lithium Australia an exclusive commercial opportunity to establish L-Max® based processing facilities inside Western Australia from potential supply sources such as Galaxy.